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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

Zuzana Dvorakova

Citizen associations, trade unions and “tripartism” are the major mediators and interest‐representing bodies in the Czech Republic outside political parties. A system of…

Abstract

Citizen associations, trade unions and “tripartism” are the major mediators and interest‐representing bodies in the Czech Republic outside political parties. A system of corporatism at the national policy making level has existed since 1990. Since 1998 trade unions have demonstrated efforts to rely less on “tripartite” arrangements and to utilise the legal provision on collective bargaining. Within the public sector there are only a very limited range of issues that can be bargained collectively. The major issue being the most sensitive area of remuneration. Public sector trade unions, unified in the Czech‐Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, have established a system of regular negotiations with the government aimed at achieving agreements in pay increases and the extension of the pay scale. Post‐communist Czech society is becoming more pluralistic and trade unions are playing an important role in introducing more elements of democracy.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Borislav Majtan

This paper aims to examine how the Slovak Labour Code has evolved as a result of the “velvet revolution” which saw Czechoslovakia begin the transition from a “command” to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how the Slovak Labour Code has evolved as a result of the “velvet revolution” which saw Czechoslovakia begin the transition from a “command” to a “market economy, the establishment of a separate Czech Republic and a Slovak Republic and Slovakia's accession to membership of the European Union.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper attempts to provide an empirical contribution to the understanding of how the process of industrial relations is evolving in the new democracies of Eastern and Central Europe in the post‐communist period.

Findings

The paper highlights how the detailed codification of trade union rights of the communist era have been drastically reformed in light of the Slovak Republic adopting a market economy and adopting the EU's social acquis communautaire. The governments desire to liberalise and encourage a more flexible labour market has seen many of the old powers of the trade unions transferred to other forms of employee representation such as works councils and works trustees.

Research limitations/implications

The author has described the strategy of the government to marginalise trade unions by introducing works councils and transferring functions to them, which had previously been performed by the trade unions.

Originality/value

The paper provide an interesting insight into how “players” in the “employee relations game” perceive the re‐codification of the Slovak Labour Code. There seems to be a mixed response to the changes, for whilst the union claims that it is able to boast a 95 per cent success rate in winning cases in the courts arising out of the rights and protections provided for employees in the Labour Code, and not withstanding the very low incidence of industrial action, the paper notes with some irony that there is significant school of opinion amongst Slovak trade unionists that the price that they pay for all of this is some of the lowest wages in the region.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Liam FitzPatrick

Over the last two decades, internal communications has developed considerably as a sub‐discipline of public relations. Some of this growth is due to the desire of managers…

Abstract

Over the last two decades, internal communications has developed considerably as a sub‐discipline of public relations. Some of this growth is due to the desire of managers to bypass trade union influence in the workplace. Additionally, during the 1970s there was considerable dispute in some workplaces about who actually owned the right to communicate with employees. However, recent studies, including one by the author, have shown that good trade union channels are a considerable asset in the communication manager's repertoire. This paper considers some of the evidence for this view, highlights the need to be clear about the purpose of involvement and of participation at work and poses some practical questions for communicators.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1990

Douglas Miller

Little consideration has been given to the questionof stress among trade union officers. Someexplanations for this are offered and, on the basisof pilot research carried…

Abstract

Little consideration has been given to the question of stress among trade union officers. Some explanations for this are offered and, on the basis of pilot research carried out in the north east of England, class and gender are revealed as crucial variables is shown both in terms of stressors and coping strategies for male officers. This yields a new viewpoint for considering traditional theories of union democracy. In a follow‐up article the question of stress management in trade unions will be considered.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1977

TOM GORE

One of the major features of the trade union movement in Sweden is its educational effort. The ideological powerhouse of LO (the TUC) has provided, since the thirties, a…

Abstract

One of the major features of the trade union movement in Sweden is its educational effort. The ideological powerhouse of LO (the TUC) has provided, since the thirties, a wide range of ideas on the place of the trade unions in the economy. Their approach to full employment, centralised wage bargaining and differentials, the improvement of the working environment, wage earners' investment funds, works councils and the recent law on Co‐determination in Decision Making (MBL) was outlined in the April issue. But ideas have to be debated and discussed in a democratic movement. Their translation to deeds requires an informed trade union membership and leaders in the workplaces trained to inform, to persuade and to lead. The means for achieving these objectives have been through centralised and de‐centralised methods of education and training.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1979

TOM GORE

The recent wave of strikes, official and unofficial, in all kinds of economic and public activity, affecting all kinds of persons from children to pensioners, occasioning…

Abstract

The recent wave of strikes, official and unofficial, in all kinds of economic and public activity, affecting all kinds of persons from children to pensioners, occasioning suffering, misery and harm to the community in general, has caused January 1979 to be called ‘Black January’. Yet ten years ago, in January 1969 a White Paper entitled ‘In Place of Strife’ [Cmnd 3888] was published. The White Paper set out a policy for Industrial Relations. It was the policy of a Labour Government and had been designed in the light of the report of the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers Associations which had been published in June 1968 [Cmnd 3623]. The main recommendations of the Report [called the Donovan Report] were embodied in the proposals for an Industrial Relations Act which is Appendix I in the White Paper. That paper, following Donovan, boldly states in para 2:

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2009

John Gennard

The purpose of this editorial is to examine moves towards cross border trade union mergers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to examine moves towards cross border trade union mergers.

Design/methodology/approach

This editorial outlines the reasons why trade unions see the need to act outside their nation state boundaries.

Findings

In the globalised economy if trade unions are to defend and advance the living standards of their members they cannot confine their activities to their national labour markets. Currently, trade unions attempt to do this via multi‐lateral link ups via Global Trade Union Federations and by developing links with their sister unions in other countries. A new mechanism is now being developed by trade unions to counter balance the economic strength of multi‐nationals, namely cross border trade union mergers.

Originality/value

The editorial offers insights into the reasons for, and gives examples, for the emerging trend of the movement towards cross border trade union mergers.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2006

David Metcalf and Jianwei Li

China has, apparently, more trade union members than the rest of the world put together, but the unions are subservient to the Party-state. The theme of the paper is the…

Abstract

China has, apparently, more trade union members than the rest of the world put together, but the unions are subservient to the Party-state. The theme of the paper is the gap between rhetoric and reality. Issues analysed include union structure, membership, representation, and the interaction between unions and the Party-state. We suggest that Chinese unions inhabit an Alice in Wonderland dream world and that they are virtually impotent when it comes to representing workers. Because the Party-state recognises that such frailty may lead to instability it has passed new laws promoting collective contracts and established new tripartite institutions to mediate and arbitrate disputes. While such laws are welcome they are largely hollow: collective contracts are very different from collective bargaining and the incidence of cases dealt with by the tripartite institutions is tiny. Much supporting evidence is presented drawing on detailed case studies undertaken in Hainan Province (the largest and one of the oldest special economic zones) in 2004 and 2005. The need for more effective representation is appreciated by some All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) officials, but it seems a long way off, so unions in China will continue to echo the White Queen: “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today” and, alas, tomorrow never comes.

Details

Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-470-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

Christine A N Horton

Women constitute over 50 per cent of NALGO membership but are still under‐represented at all levels within the union. Previous explanations of trade union activism have…

Abstract

Women constitute over 50 per cent of NALGO membership but are still under‐represented at all levels within the union. Previous explanations of trade union activism have ignored gender differences in union participation. They have not taken the impact of the sexual division of labour within the home and workplace into account. Many unions have failed to recognise the effect this has had on the ability of women to participate fully in the union's organisation. If women are to participate fully their domestic commitments must be taken into account. The union's expectations of its lay officers need to be examined.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2009

John Gennard

The purpose of this editorial is to review the significance of Roger Undy's book, Trade Union Merger Strategies: Purpose, Process and Performance, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to review the significance of Roger Undy's book, Trade Union Merger Strategies: Purpose, Process and Performance, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Design/methodology/approach

The editorial outlines and evaluates the arguments put forward by Dr Undy to explain why trade union mergers take place. It also evaluates the book's analysis of the politics of trade union mergers.

Findings

As trade union membership has declined mergers have been prominent features in strategies of union revival. Yet, there is little empirical research into the effects of mergers on the unions actually merging or on their impact on the wider union movement. Dr Undy concludes that mergers do not provide a solution to the problem of falling membership and that transfers of engagements are often more successful than amalgamations.

Originality/value

The editorial offers insights into the process, performance and effects of trade union mergers.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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