Права профсоюзов и объединений работодателей в сфере труда
Workers’ Representation in Central and Eastern Europe
Challenges and Opportunities for the Works Councils System
Editor: Roger Blanpain
Guest Editor: Nikita Lyutov
Works council, as a participatory means of regulating the employer–employee relation, is long established in Western European countries, but has failed to take significant root in other parts of the world where it has been tried. This book is the first in-depth exploration of the legal, political, and cultural forces that complicate this transposition. Focusing on Eastern and Central Europe, where the works council system has been most extensively applied and where the evident reasons for its lack of purchase are most telling, the contributors examine the relevant experience, both negative and positive, in twelve countries, with a particular focus on non-union representation of workers.
Many important issues pertinent to workers’ representation in general in a globalized world are covered, including the following:
cooperation and confrontation between trade unions and works councils; insufficient division of competences between the two representative bodies; legal norms concerning both trade union and works councils independence from employers’ interference; need for serious and dissuasive sanctions against creation of employer-controlled (‘yellow’) unions; need for extension to non-union workers of protection from anti-union discrimination; real vs. formal implementation of EU norms in Eastern European Member States; unnecessarily complicated regulation of institutions of representation; lack of protection against dismissal of non-union representatives; responsibility for breach of employers’ obligation to consult and inform; and employers’ lack of legitimacy in the eyes of workers.
There is general agreement among these authors that, as long as human beings spend a serious part of their lives at the workplace, they must be allowed not merely to express opinions about the job but have a real influence on it. Fully aware of the sensitivity of these issues in market economies, the authors’ careful research and call for public discussion open the path to real changes in the existing system, clearly in Eastern Europe but to be much desired elsewhere also. For labour law scholars, practitioners, and policymakers who know that such changes are needed, this book offers directions that, though debatable, are sure to be welcomed.
The chapter discusses market forces and the transformation of Russian employment relations starting with 1990. The Russian case shows that the ability of actors to exercise strategic choice varies greatly according to context. Russian unions were strongly constrained in their response to reform. The Russian state was ostensibly far less confined in its decision making, but still found it hard to escape the ‘sticky’ institutions of the past. It was not the formal institutions of soviet power which proved most resilient, but inherited pattern of clientelist relations and politicised resource allocation, which subverted the economic and political ‘transition’.
The article analyses positions discussed during the conference "Workers' participation in enterrprize management. Role of trade unions and works councils in labour relations regulation", which took place on September 14, 2012 in Higher School of Economics. The article discribes approaches to creation of works councils in Germany, correlation between functions of works councils and trade unions in Germany, possible role and functions of works councils in Russia.
The book focuses on the new kinds of conflict that arises in the transition to a market economy. Following an editorial introduction, two chapters develop theories from new empirical research into patterns of conflict and forms of trade unionism in Russian enterprises in the transition period. These are folloed by a detailed case study of the development of an independent trade union in one industrial enterprise, and a chapter which explores changes in the status hierarchy of the industrial enterprise. Two chapters then address the much-neglected issue of gender differentiation in the work place and both chapters question the supposed passivity of Russian women workers. The two final chapters address the issue of conflict and change in the external relations of enterprises through case studies of the process of bancruptcy and of conflict insiders and outsiders. Conflict and Change in the Russian Industrial Enterprise is the second volume in the series Management and Industry in Russia, reporning on the results of a unique programme of research into the restructuring of social relations in Russian industrial production.
General analysis of modifications in labor sphere of Russian companies and adaptation of old (traditional) and new (alternative) trade unions to interaction with transnational companies (TNK) is being discussed. The main issue is how inner processes, initiated by western management reflected on status of workers and on adjustment of trade union participation in labor relations. Paper is based on case study materials of Russian companies, members of TNK.
In this paper are summed up the principal ideas of a book by the contemporary French legal scholar Jasques Le Goff. This book was dedicated to analysis of the sociological conception of law by Georges Gurvitch. In the context of theoretical problems of the nowadays French labor law Professor Le Goff tries to outline a new methodological approach to law. According to Professor Le Goff, one needs to abandon both anarchist ideas about spontaneity of legal development, and the etatist legal positivism which conceives law as primarily emanating from state. Appropriate methodological tools for a correct analysis of law Professor Le Goff finds in the works of the French-Russian thinker of the 20th century Georges Gurvitch who was famous for his conception of social law. Gurvitch treated law as a form for institualization of social communication between individuals and groups. This approach can serve as a conceptual foundation for explaining the contemporary lawmaking processes in the nowadays French labor law where law to a certain extent is created without intervention of state.