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29 July 2019

Transfer special issue on changing labour markets and international organisations

The latest issue of Transfer, the European Review of Labour and Research, looks at how international organisations dealing with jobs and employment, such as the ILO, OECD and European Commission, have reassessed their labour market analysis and policy recommendations in recent years.

Many of these organisations have published reports on the issue of the future of work (for example, the ILO’s report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work, published in January 2019) or new job strategies (for example, the second review of the OECD Jobs Strategy ‘Good Jobs for All in a Changing World of Work’, December 2018). The European Pillar of Social Rights, proclaimed in November 2017, can also be seen as part of this trend. These initiatives have all been launched as a response to the perceived need to react to the changes caused by the increasing digitalisation of the economy and the rise of the so called ‘platform economy’, but also by continued globalisation, the threat to jobs posed by climate change, and demographic changes.  

This special issue of Transfer aims to assess these initiatives and answer the question of whether they constitute a real break from previous policy recommendations. One of the thematic articles written by Roberto Pedersini looks at how seven international organisations understand the role of collective bargaining and whether this perception has changed in their recent reviews of policy recommendations. The analysis shows that although one cannot speak of a paradigm change in the positions of these organisations on the role of collective bargaining, a more nuanced view is becoming apparent. One of the main reasons for this is the failure of more than two decades of labour market deregulation to deliver the expected results as well as a growing awareness of the negative consequences of inequality on the overall economy. What is more, coordinated wage bargaining has proven to be a macroeconomic stabiliser in the periods of financial instability which we have experienced in recent times. You can read the whole article for free on the website of SAGE until the end of August.  

The ETUI has also just published four volumes on the development of collective bargaining since the year 2000 in all 28 Member States of the EU – for more information click here.

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