International Journal of Labour Research

Articles

Vol. 6, No. 1, 2014

Preface
This issue of the International Journal of Labour Research addresses one of the central challenges of our times: that of overcoming growing inequalities in our societies. This trend, now well-recognized, is worrying not only for its economic impact,...
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Editorial: The Inequality Crisis
"Zero hunger" was the message oflnácio Lula da Silva, an eminent trade unionist, when he was elected President of Brazil in 2002. At the time, people throughout Latin America were starting to vote for political leaders concerned about economic inequality....
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The World We Need
Changes in inequalityIn recent history, the broad trend for all measures of inequality appears to follow a U-shaped pattern across most developed countries, as illustrated for Anglo-Saxon countries in figure 1. It was high until the 1930s when a long...
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Trade Unions and Economic Inequality: Perspectives, Policies and Strategies
The ongoing global financial crisis has moved the issue of economic inequality into the spotlight of public debates. Its importance is underscored by the growing evidence of the negative impact that economic inequality has on major social, political...
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Labour Markets, Wage Dispersion and Union Policies
IntroductionThe change towards a more unequal distribution of income and wealth has been one of the key features of economic development in most countries of the world during the last decades. This not only undermines justice and endangers social coherence,...
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Are Targeting and Universalism Complementary or Competing Paradigms in Social Policy? Insights from Brazil India and South Africa
Since the 1980s, targeting has been high on the social policy agenda in the global South. In the wake of structural adjustment programmes, governments tightened their fiscal policies and it is in this context that targeting was widely adopted. Proponents...
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The Role of the Public Sector in Combating Inequality
In the last decades, the merits of the public sector, including public infrastructure and services, have mostly been discussed with respect to their efficiency. The general assumption was that public providers of goods and services tend to underperform...
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The Impact of Financial Liberalization on Income Inequality
In the first three decades after the Second World War, the financial sector was tightly regulated in most capitalist countries. In both developed and developing countries the main aim of economic policy was to promote economic growth and high levels...
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Inequality - the Achilles Heel of Free Market Democracy
Fifteen months before she became Prime Minister in May 1979, Margaret Thatcher gave a speech in which she laid out her vision of democracy. Unsurprisingly, she suggested that democracy flourishes only if there is a free market economy:... the democracy...
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Progressive Tax Reform in OECD Countries: Opportunities and Obstacles
The substantial increases in the disparity of wealth and income distribution over the last decades, in combination with the need for tax increases due to the budgetary stress experienced since the Great Recession, have led to calls for progressive tax...
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Vol. 5, No. 2, 2013

Editorial
Last May, ACTRAV and the ILO cooperative branch held a seminar on the topic of relations between trade unions and worker cooperatives.1 The goal was to re-examine the relationship between the two movements by taking stock of recent initiatives around...
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Trade Unions and Cooperatives: The Experience of CICOPA-Mercosur
This article is based on the experience of the Mercosur sections of the International Organization of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers' Cooperatives (CICOPA-Mercosur). In particular, it focuses on the Argentinian experience, while describing...
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Workers' Cooperatives in Argentina: The Self-Administered Workers' Association
This article examines the development of the Self-administered Workers' Association (Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores Autogestionados - ANTA) within the Workers' Confederation of Argentina (Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina - CTA). ANTA is an...
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Trade Union Support for Labour Cooperatives: An Experiment in Cooperation between Brazil and Canada
The Confederation of National Trade Unions (Confédération des syndicats nationaux - CSN) in Quebec, Canada has promoted the creation of a group of autonomous organizations aiming at socially responsible economic development. The mission of these organizations...
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Trade Unions and Worker Cooperatives in Europe: A Win-Win Relationship: Maximizing Social and Economic Potential in Worker Cooperatives
The European Union's ten-year growth strategy is calling on social economy enterprises, particularly cooperatives, to contribute actively to the overall aim of achieving "smart, sustainable and inclusive growth" by 2020 (European Commission, 2010a and...
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An Emerging Solidarity: Worker Cooperatives, Unions, and the New Union Cooperative Model in the United States
If we were to re-imagine what work and the workplace should look like, what businesses should look like, what would that be? We might think of small businesses and people who are self-employed. We might think of work as something we are proud of and...
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The Experience of SYNDICOOP in Africa: A Model for Trade Union Action?
IntroductionSYNDICOOP was a project which operated in Africa from 2002 to 2006, aimed at improving the working and living conditions of unprotected informal economy workers through collaboration of trade unions and cooperatives. The project covered Rwanda,...
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Vol. 5, No. 1, 2013

Foreword
Last year, the Bureau for Workers' activities held its biannual symposium1 on an ever-growing preoccupation for workers around the world: the growth and spread of precarious work. This issue of the IJLR presents some of the contributions to this event...
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Editorial: ILO Standards and Precarious Work: Strengths, Weaknesses and Potential
KEYWORDS precarious employment, workers rights, ILO Convention, ILO Recommendation, comment, international labour standards, supervisory machinery, trade union attitudeDo ILO standards provide for the protection of workers who are in pre- carious work?...
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Establishing Rights in the Disposable Jobs Regime
KEYWORDS precarious employment, temporary employment, temporary work agency, workers rights, role of ILO, role of OECD, multinational enterpriseHow elastic is the concept of precarious work? Elastic enough in some hands for the Employer spokesperson...
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Implications for Union Work of the Trend towards Precarization of Work
KEYWORDS precarious employment, workers rights, collective bargaining, trade union rights, trade union attitude, role of ILO, role of IMPrecarious work is rapidly becoming one of the biggest obstacles to the respect of workers' rights worldwide. Every...
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Trade Union Responses to Precarious Work in Seven European Countries
KEYWORDS precarious employment, employment, low income, collective bargaining, trade union attitude, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, United KingdoPrecarious employment is a major concern today in Europe's labour markets. In recent...
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Negotiating Parity for Precarious Workers
KEYWORDS precarious employment, social dialogue, collective bargaining, collective agreement, equal pay, trade union role, good practiceBy viewing labour as a commodity, we at once get rid of the moral basis on which the relation of employer and employed...
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Strengthening the Collective Bargaining Rights of Precarious Workers under US Labour and Employment Law
KEYWORDS precarious employment, workers rights, collective bargaining, labour legislation, comment, United StatesWhile few protections exist for private sector workers in the United States, one group of workers, those falling into the category of precarious...
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Precarious Work and the Exercise of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: Current ILO Jurisprudence
KEYWORDS precarious employment, workers rights, freedom of association, collective bargaining, ILO Convention, ILO Recommendation, supervisory machineryThe impact of precarious forms of employment on workers' access to freedom of association and collective...
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Precarious Work: An International Problem
KEYWORDS precarious employment, conditions of employment, occupational health, role of ILO, multinational enterprisePrecarious work is a social scandal of our times. It is the exact opposite of decent work, as promoted by the ILO. Precarious work is...
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Precarious Work and Access to Collective Bargaining: What Are the Legal Obstacles?
KEYWORDS precarious employment, workers rights, collective bargaining, role of ILO, trade union attitude, labour legislation, comment, definition, developed countries, developing countriesThe debate on precariousness and its intimate relationship with...
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Vol. 4, No. 2, 2012

Foreword
Over the past decade, an international consensus has emerged on the need to move to a green, low-carbon economy. This has of course been reflected in the discussions and commitments made around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change...
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What Policies for a Green Economy That Works for Social Progress?
IntroductionIn October 2011, a workshop entitled "A Green Economy that Works for Social Progress" was organized in the framework of the Global Union Research Network (GURN). Based on the need for more research on a number of employment-related aspects...
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Green Growth and Green New Deal Policies in the Republic of Korea: Are They Creating Decent Green Jobs?
Since 2008, the government of the Republic of Korea has been actively introducing and pursuing so-called "Green Growth" and "Green New Deal" policies, which were highly controversial and generated heated social debates about the genuineness of their...
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Green and Decent? Working Conditions in the Waste Sector in Europe and Implications for Trade Union Policy
The objective of the proposed paper is to investigate the question of the quality of work in the waste sector in the context of the transition towards a recycling society and to formulate some recommendations for trade union strategies at the European...
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The Reality and Challenges of Green Jobs in China: An Exploration
The remarkable economic growth experienced by China since the beginning of the economic reform in 1978 has been widely praised as a "miracle". The tremendous wealth generated in the country through its rapid industrialization in the past 30 years is...
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Working Conditions in "Green Jobs": Women in the Renewable Energy Sector
WiRES (Women in Renewable Energy Sector) is a project about women and green jobs. It was implemented in 2009 and 2010 by Adapt, the Association for International and Comparative Studies in Labour Law and Industrial Relations, in cooperation with its...
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Climate Jobs and Manufacturing in South Africa
South Africa has a high rate of unemployment. Using the narrow and broad definitions for unemployment,1 the Department of National Planning in the office of the Presidency claims that according to the narrow - official - definition, unemployment stands...
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Vol. 4, No. 1, 2012

Foreword
As director of the Bureau for Workers' Activities at the ILO, it gives me a special pleasure to introduce this issue of the International Journal of Labour Research on the subject of the minimum wage. This is a question that has seldom received the attention...
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Rescuing the Minimum Wage as a Tool for Development in Brazil
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce...
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The Effectiveness of Minimum Wages in Developing Countries: The Case of India
We would like to thank Raymond Torres and Mito Tsukamoto for their comments on an earlier draft. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Labour Organization.After years...
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Asia Floor Wage and Global Industrial Collective Bargaining
Wage in the global economyDominant development normsFreer capital flows, expanding global companies and expansive trade policies have made the world a smaller place for capital. At the same time, the gap between the rich and the poor has grown and precarious...
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European Minimum Wage Policy: A Concept for Wage-Led Growth and Fair Wages in Europe
Minimum wages on the European agendaIn February 2012, the Greek government decided on a radical, 22 per cent cut of the national minimum. The decision was taken in the face of opposition from both the trade unions and the employers' associations which...
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At What Level Should Countries Set Their Minimum Wages?
(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)The authors would like to thank Frank HofFer and Pierre Labberte for their very helpful comments. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International...
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Living Wage Policies and Campaigns: Lessons from the United States
With the expansion of global labour markets, more countries are looking for policy tools to address growing low-wage work and working poverty. Does the "living wage" movement offer a path to reducing poverty and inequality? The term "living wage" was...
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Editorial
This issue of the International Journal of Labour Research is wholly dedicated to the question of the minimum wage, a matter that has gained in importance and profile in recent years. No doubt, the main reasons behind this rise in prominence relate to...
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