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The establishing of a European industrial relations system: Still under construction or chasing a chimera?

González Begega, Sergio and Aranea, Mona 2018. The establishing of a European industrial relations system: Still under construction or chasing a chimera? Employee Relations 40 (4) , pp. 600-616. 10.1108/ER-07-2017-0151

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PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine European Union (EU) industrial relations in their development over time. It describes and analyzes their main constituent parts, which are deployed along four interlinked institutional dimensions: tripartite concertation; cross-industry social dialogue; sectoral social dialogue; and employee representation and negotiation at the transnational company level. The focus lies strictly on the emerging EU layer of industrial relations, which is common to the different Member States and not on comparative European industrial relations.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is conceptual in nature. It considers the differences and mutually interdependent legal and political processes, policies and institutions between EU industrial relations and national industrial relations.FindingsThe findings substantiate that EU industrial relations constitute an incomplete but perfectly traceable transnational reality distinct from industrial relations in the Member States. EU industrial relations are not to supersede but to supplement national industrial relations. Neither the EU institutional framework nor the European social partners have the mandate, legitimation or desire to perform a more ambitious role.Research limitations/implicationsMore empirically oriented research would further support the findings in the paper.Originality/valueThe paper presents a conceptual review based on a comprehensive and critical reading of the literature on EU industrial relations. It also puts labor strategies at the forefront of the analysis in corporate relocation.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0142-5455
Date of Acceptance: 18 August 2017
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 16:02

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