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97 SIX ‘Choice’ and ‘fairness’: the hollow core in industrial relations policy John Buchanan and Damian Oliver Over the last 20  years, few policy areas in Australia have been contested as fiercely as industrial relations (IR). In 1993, the Keating Labor Government implemented the Industrial Relations Reform Act, which severed a 100-year Australian tradition of centralised wage fixing and state involvement through the conciliation and arbitration of industrial disputes. In its place was a new decentralised and deregulated regime, centred on enterprise

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working from home during the health crisis lead to a weakening of labour unions? Or will the latter be strengthened because gig workers have realized their vulnerability during the crisis and become organized in trade unions? And how will the education and training systems of young people be affected by the crisis – will the role of unions in the latter be marginalized or strengthened? Industrial relations and training systems in Comparative Capitalism In order to develop a more precise idea of how these questions can be answered, it is again useful to turn to

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53 A ‘Third Way’? Industrial relations under New Labour THREE a ‘Third way’? Industrial relations under New Labour Peter Bain and Phil Taylor Introduction New Labour’s standard defence of its record in the sphere of industrial relations is to refer trade union critics to its legislative achievements. Government apologists point to the 1999 Employment Relations Act, the 1998 National Minimum Wage Act and to endorsement of the European Union (EU) Social Chapter soon after the 1997 electoral victory. While these Acts marked a distinct break from the

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Restructuring and resistance inside the welfare industry
Editors: and

There are an increasing number of studies devoted to an examination of New Labour’s social policies. However, thus far there has been little in the way of substantive discussion of opposition to and conflict around key elements of New Labour’s agenda for the welfare state and public sector, from those who are involved in the frontline implementation and delivery of welfare policies. Since the mid to late 1990s, there have been continual and recurring episodes of industrial action of various kinds involving social workers, teachers, lecturers, nurses, hospital ancillary staff, nursery nurses, home helps and local authority librarians among others. Welfare delivery has become a central point of industrial relations disputes in the UK today.

This book provides the first critically informed discussion of work and workers in the UK welfare sector under New Labour. It examines the changing nature of work and explores the context of industrial relations across the welfare industry. While the main focus is on the workforce in state welfare, this is set within the context of recent and current shifts in the mixed economy of welfare between state, private and third sector organisations.

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A Comparative Perspective

From Deliveroo to Amazon, digital platforms have transformed the way we work drastically. But how are these transformations being received and challenged by workers?

This book provides a radical interpretation of the changing nature of worker movements in the digital age, developing an invaluable approach that combines social movement studies and industrial relations.

Using case studies taken from Europe and North America, it offers a comparative perspective on the mobilizing trajectories of different platform workers and their distinct organizational forms and action repertoires.

This is an innovative book that offers a complete view of the new labour conflicts in the platform economy.

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Exploring Politics, Geographies and Inequalities

David Etherington provides bold and fresh perspectives on the link between welfare policy and employment relations as he assesses their fundamental impact on social inequalities.

Exploring how reforms, including Universal Credit, have reinforced employment and social insecurity, he assesses the role of NGOs, trade unions and policymakers in challenging this increasingly work-focused welfare agenda. Drawing on international and national case studies, the book reviews developments, including rising job insecurity, low pay and geographical inequalities, considered integral to neoliberal approaches to social spending.

Etherington sets out the possibilities and challenges of alternative approaches and progressive new paths for welfare, the labour market and social rights.

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Union Identity, Niche Identity and the Problem of Organizing the Unorganized

The world of work has changed and so have trade unions with mergers, rebrandings and new unions being formed. The question is, how positioned are the unions to organize the unorganized?

With more than three quarters of UK workers unrepresented and the growth of precarious employment and the gig economy this topical new book by Bob Smale reports up-to-date research on union identities and what he terms ‘niche unionism’, while raising critical questions for the future.

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Social Risks and Corporatist Reform

This comprehensive study provides a thorough account of important policy developments in the Netherlands that are significant beyond the borders of the Dutch welfare state. It demonstrates the dramatic changes that have taken place in the protection of old and new social risks, exploring the mechanisms behind these changes in the context of corporatist welfare state institutions. This book is essential for welfare state scholars, graduate students and policy makers.

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A handbook of education, labour and welfare regimes in Central and Eastern Europe

The expansion of the European Union (EU) has put an end to the East-West division of Europe. At the same time it has increased the cultural heterogeneity, social disparities and economic imbalances within the EU, exemplified in the lower living standards and higher unemployment rates in some of the new member states.

This important new reference work describes the education systems, labour markets and welfare production regimes in the 10 new Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. In three comparative chapters, discussing each of these domains in turn, the editors provide a set of theory-driven, comprehensive and informative indicators that allow comparisons and rankings within the new EU member states. Ten country-specific chapters follow, each written by experts from those countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. These chapters provide detailed information on each country’s education and training systems, labour market structure and regulations, and its provision of formal and informal welfare support. An important component of each country chapter is the explanation of the historical background and the specific national conditions for the institutional choices in the transitional years.

The handbook provides policy makers with the tools to assess the institutional changes in CEE countries, and scholars with ways to apply the proposed indicators to their analytic research. It will be a vital resource that no major research library should be without.

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Gender Equality Policies in French and British Trade Unions

This book explores the representation of women and their interests in the world of work across four trade unions in France and the UK.

Drawing on case studies of the careers of 100 activists and a longitudinal study of the trade unions' struggle for equal pay in the UK, it unveils the social, organizational, and political conditions that contribute to the reproduction of gender inequalities or, on the contrary, allow the promotion of equality.

Guillaume’s nuanced evaluation is a call to redefine the role of trade unions in the delivering of gender equality, contributing to broader debates on the effectiveness of equality policies and the enforcement of equality legislation.

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