Comparative Employment Relations in the Global Economy
Employment Relations is widely taught in business schools around the world. However, an increasing emphasis is being placed on the comparative and international dimensions of the relationships between employers and workers. It is becoming crucial to consider today’s work and employment issues alongside the dynamics between global financial and product markets, global production chains, national and international employment actors and institutions, and the ways in which these relationships play out in different national contexts.
Comparative Employment Relations in the Global Economy addresses this need by presenting a cross-section of country studies – including the UK, Germany, USA, Brazil, India, Russia, China and South Africa – alongside integrative thematic chapters covering essential topics such as theoretical approaches, collective representation and employment regulation.
Russia has undergone a historic transformation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and employment relations are central to understanding the outcomes of this change. On the eve of reform, the trade unions inherited from the Soviet past were the sole organizations of civil society even theoretically able to impose social constraint on Russia’s new ruling elite. The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) – the successor organization to the soviet trade unions – entered the transition with a union density of nearly 99 per cent, but also with a history of subordination to management and the political authorities. As will be seen, the unions proved unable to escape their dependence, and therefore failed to provide effective representation of workers’ interests during economic reform. This gave the economic reformers a free hand, with disastrous consequences.