European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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25 June 2015

ETUI contributes to second congress of Spanish association of labour science research centres

On 18 and 19 June 2015, the Spanish association of academic industrial relations and labour science research centres held its second congress in Bilbao. The focus of the gathering – in which researchers from some 30 different universities took part – was the study of industrial relations from the standpoint of the demand for a transition towards a social economy as an embodiment of solidarity.

The political context of the recent municipal and regional elections was much in evidence as the backcloth against which the congress conducted its extremely rich debates. Following these election results, a large number of municipalities – including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Cadiz and La Coruna – will henceforth be governed by mayors nominated by ‘popular unity’ coalitions expressive of a break with the traditional political parties. These coalitions came into being after the birth of the ‘indignados’ movement and the mass protests to defend common goods such as health, education, water and housing that impelled the rise of the new party Podemos.

The dominant theme tackled at the Congress was the negative impact of austerity policies on the terms and conditions of employment and social security provision. Reports on aspects of this topic were presented by academics representative of several disciplines (sociology, economics, law).

ETUI researcher Laurent Vogel opened the conference with a presentation on the situation of health and safety in the industrial relations context in Europe. The closing address was given by Yayo Herrero López, an economist from Madrid who spoke of the convergence between the feminist and ecologist critiques of the capitalist economy.

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