Introduction

Article excerpt

This edition of the International Journal of Employment Studies brings together a diverse group of papers from several countries. We begin with two very different union-focused papers. First, Mark Harcourt and Helen Lam assess whether statutory support for non-majority unionism in Canada might lead to multi-union representation and greater inter-union competition. Drawing on the comparative example of New Zealand, with its system of non-majority, non-exclusive unionism, they illustrate how multiple unionism can encourage inter-union collaboration in bargaining, lobbying and organising. The second paper, by Simon Fry, addresses a very different union topic that has received very little attention to date: the historical development of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU). Using the model of the classic Leninist dualist union, he demonstrates how, despite the market reforms of the past two decades, the LFTU still largely conforms to this model.

We then have two papers on the health sector. First, Lars Mitlacher and Andreas Welker address the rise in atypical employment in German hospitals, and specifically the use of locum tenens as temporary replacements for full-time medical practitioners. They examine the array of organisational change issues raised by the increasing use of locums, highlighting in particular the differences between those hospitals with and without collective agreements. In the next paper, Julia Ellershaw, Andre Gulyas, Defne Demir, John McWilliams and Dianne Johnson discuss the complex interrelationships between the career trajectories of medial specialists in Australia and their location within either public or private sectors. …