The Role of Social Partners in Bargaining Over Non-Wage Issues Across Austria, Greece and Italy

REC-WP Working Papers on the Reconciliation of Work and Welfare in Europe No. 14/09

30 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2009

See all articles by Costanza Rodriguez d’Acri

Costanza Rodriguez d’Acri

European Central Bank (ECB)

Alison Johnston

London School of Economics and Political Science - European Institute

Andreas Kornelakis

King's College London

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Flexible specialisation, internationalisation, an ageing workforce, and the move into a service economy has placed growing pressure on trade unions and employers to strike new deals. Bargaining over ‘non-wage’ issues may potentially accommodate the needs of an ageing and increasingly feminised workforce and enable unions to increase or at least maintain given levels of membership. Little empirical work has been done, however, in examining different types of ‘non-wage’ issues that have arisen across countries and explaining why they arise. In this paper, we create a typology of four distinct types of ‘non-wage’ issues and seek to identify the conditions under which each is expected to be observed. We propose that two conditions (one political and one economic) determine different agendas which lead to the emergence of a particular type of ‘non-wage’ issue: the level of cohesion amongst unions; and the sector in which bargaining predominates (private or public). We then focus on how the bargaining over ‘non-wage’ issues has developed within three European economies: Austria, Greece and Italy. Each is representative of a different variant of corporatism, and therefore we look at the ability of social partners with variable institutional capacity to negotiate and agree on ‘non-wage’ issues through collective bargaining. Our initial findings suggest that union cohesion and the presence, or the lack, of a market constraint on employers helps explain the variation in the types of non-wage issues which arise in these three countries.

Keywords: Collective bargaining, Non-wage issues, Working time, Equal opportunities, union cohesion, private and public sector

Suggested Citation

Rodriguez d’Acri, Costanza and Johnston, Alison and Kornelakis, Andreas, The Role of Social Partners in Bargaining Over Non-Wage Issues Across Austria, Greece and Italy (2009). REC-WP Working Papers on the Reconciliation of Work and Welfare in Europe No. 14/09 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1501717

Costanza Rodriguez d’Acri (Contact Author)

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

Alison Johnston

London School of Economics and Political Science - European Institute ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Andreas Kornelakis

King's College London ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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