Restructuring through mergers has been a key strategy of union revitalization. In Germany, union merger activity has been extensive but seemingly unpredictable in its outcomes, with failed mergers outnumbering successful attempts by a ratio of 2:1. Martin Behrens (WSI) and Andreas Pekarek (University of Melbourne) use case studies of two attempted union mergers in Germany—one failed and one successful—to exemplify how these complex processes unfold.
Under the first two Memorandums, Greece had to commit itself to a radical restructuring of its collective bargaining system. In particular, non-trade union representations of employees were permitted, extensions of collective agreements were prohibited and the favourability principle with regard to the hierarchy of collective bargaining levels was abolished. Dr. Thorsten Schulten (WSI) evaluates recent changes and future prospects of Greek collective bargaining.
Social partnership between capital and labour is a distinctive characteristic of German industrial relations. Based on a survey of 142 German employers’ associations, Martin Behrens (WSI) and Markus Helfen (FU Berlin) investigate differences in their support for partnership with unions. The authors find that organizational characteristics (e.g. membership density) as well as positive experiences with their union counterparts explain why employers’ associations adhere to the norms of social partnership.
A comparison of log hourly personal income of 1.5th and 2nd generation Spätaussiedler and persons of Turkish origin with that of native Germans shows that poorly qualified persons of Turkish origin experience income advantages; they frequently work in jobs for which they are underqualified.
Within the framework of the new European economic governance, neoliberal views on wages have further increased in prominence and have steered various reforms of collective bargaining rules. This book proposes an alternative: Wage developments need to be strengthened through a Europe-wide coordinated reconstruction of collective bargaining as a precondition for more sustainable and inclusive growth.
Using comparative studies and new statistical data, the paper demonstrates that driving down public sector wages is not the right recipe to get out of the crisis and underlines the need for a strong public sector to boost aggregate demand and provide a modern public infrastructure as major precondition for a competitive economy.
Digitalization, i.e. flexible work in space and time, will not automatically foster employees’ work-life balance, as is often proclaimed. Yvonne Lott (WSI) agues that flexible working has different impacts on women’s and men’s lives and risks aggravating traditional gender arrangements: With flexible working time, men often invest more time in work. Women, by contrast, use their time flexibility more for activities and duties outside work.
In recent years, the European Court of Justice has extended the scope of the four fundamental freedoms to politically and economically highly sensitive areas such as the right to strike and the regulation of working conditions of posted workers. Dr. Daniel Seikel (WSI) analyses the domestic impact of two of the most controversial judgments – Laval and Rüffert – in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, concluding that the ECJ's case law has shifted the balance of power between labour and capital in the domestic arenas in favour of business.
The volume offers a labour perspective on wage-setting institutions, collective bargaining and economic development. Sixteen country chapters, eight on Asia and eight on Europe, focus in particular on the role and effectiveness of minimum wages in the context of national trends in income inequality, economic development, and social security.
Atypical forms of employment are also widespread in the public sector but are all in all less precarious than in the private sector. In the public sector, the percentage of low-wage earners is considerably lower than in the private one, as the coverage rates of collective agreement (at over 90 per cent) are high. Moreover, employees with atypical forms of employment have better opportunities for further training in the public than in the private sector.
Since the Financial Crisis in 2008 Germany has performed better than most of its neighbouring countries. What makes Germany so special that nobel prize winner Krugman called it a miracle, and is this sustainable? And what do neighbours think about Germany? The book consists of two parts. Part one shows Germany seen by some authors of the Variety of Capitalism literature hosted in the US, and by Germans themselves. Part two shows Germany in the eyes of its European neighbours.
The advocates of modern western democracy promote the viewpoint that the class division of the society is becoming outdated. Andranik Tangian (WSI) attempts to disprove this statement analyzing the official party positions on 38 policy issues of 28 German parties who participated in the 2013 federal election. The author concludes that neither the left-right characterization of parties nor the class opposition perspective is outdated.
In a contribution for the Global Labor Column Thorsten Schulten (WSI) discusses current deficits of the new statutory minimum wage in Germany and presents detailed proposals for a better implementation.
This study focuses on describing and analyzing the concrete initiatives taken by trade unions and employers to combat precarious employment in construction, commercial cleaning, hospitals and temporary agency work. It is based on an evaluation of recent data, research literature and policy documents as well as a number of interviews with experts from all four sectors. The study is also part of a wider European project called Bargaining for Social Rights at Sector Level (BARSORIS) which include studies from seven European countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and the UK).
WSI research covers issues of employment and institutional change in a globalising world, the quality of work as well as questions of redistribution and social security, industrial relations and collective bargaining policy. The work of the WSI is organised in five research areas:
Information on WSI members of staff and WSI guests and their fields of expertise
"WSI-Mitteilungen" is a scientific journal providing up-to-date information on the results of research on current issues of relevance to trade unions.