The Power to Dismiss: Trade Unions and the Regulation of Job Security in Western Europe

Hardcover | October 24, 2014

byPatrick Emmenegger

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This book analyses the historical development of job security regulations in Western Europe from the establishment of freedom of contract in the 19th century until the heyday of two-tier labour market reforms in the 2000s. Job security regulations restrict the managerial capacity to dismissemployees and use new forms of employment such as temporary work when hiring new workers. The book makes four main contributions: First, it shows that trade unions are the main driving force behind the extension of job security regulations because these regulations protect the union organisation in the workplace and award them an important role in company decision-making. Second, theanalysis demonstrates that the extension of dismissal protection was only possible in periods in which the power resources of the labour movement temporarily exceeded those of employers, such as in the immediate aftermath of World War I and II as well as in the late 1960s and early 1970s when a "redwave' swept over Western Europe. Third, the book shows that the trade unions' desire to maintain institutional control caused them to push for the regulation of job security by means of collective agreements. In the medium term, this preference had the paradoxical effect that countries with stronglabour movements featured lower levels of statutory dismissal protection than countries with weak and fragmented labour movements. Finally, the analysis demonstrates that the trade unions' organisational interest in dismissal protection prompted them to assent to two-tier labour market reforms fromthe 1980s onwards, thereby contributing to the dualisation of Western European labour markets.

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This book analyses the historical development of job security regulations in Western Europe from the establishment of freedom of contract in the 19th century until the heyday of two-tier labour market reforms in the 2000s. Job security regulations restrict the managerial capacity to dismissemployees and use new forms of employment such...

Patrick Emmenegger is professor of comparative political economy and public policy at the University of St.Gallen. He has published some forty articles and chapters in edited books, among others in Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Journal of European Social Policy, Socio-Economic Review and West E...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:October 24, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198709234

ISBN - 13:9780198709237

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Towards a New Theory of the Politics of Job Security Regulations3. Setting Up a Regulatory Regime4. A 'Red Wave' over Europe5. The Age of Dualisation6. Conclusion