The freshly published issue of Transfer focuses on ‘working life democracy’ and, more specifically, on the trade union (and political) struggle to expand democracy into the sphere of working life. The issue contains articles that tackle this multi-facetted issue from differing standpoints.
While some deal with more basic questions about democracy in working life in capitalist societies, others contain more elaborated analyses of relevant structures and behaviour.
Richard Hyman, whose article is downloadable free of charge until 8 March 2016, explores some of the contrasting understandings of industrial democracy over the past century during which the debate on expanding democracy to the workplace has been gradually narrowed down almost to the point of disappearance. The only way for trade unions to oppose this situation is to develop a new vision of a better society and economy, a convincing alternative to the dominant neoliberal ‘mantra of greed, commodification, competitiveness and austerity’ which is linked to most daily experiences in the workplace.
Other articles in this thematic issue focus on ‘citizenship at work’ (Ulrich Mückenberger), the concept of ‘industrial democracy’ (Walther Müller-Jentsch), the outcome of different patterns of social democracy in The Netherlands and France (Antoine Bevort), the development of employee participation and involvement in Italy since the Second World War (Salvo Leonardi), the relevance of various conceptions of industrial democracy to the modern Portuguese labour movement (Alan Stoleroff) and the concept of ‘economic democracy’ in Sweden (Bengt Furåker).
Transfer February 2016: Working life democracy