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Globalisation and work

Globalisation and work includes research on:

Labour market regulations and management of labour migration

Employee voice and health and safety in the global garment industry

Employee responses to relocation of production

Transfer of employment practices in multinational companies

EU employment policies on flexibility, security and inclusion

Coordination between national and European level for health and safety at work

Our current projects include:

  • Collective bargaining in Northern Europe: Guglielmo Meardi and Claire Evans, in collaboration with Paul Marginson, conducted interviews in four sectors in the UK and Poland for a project on collective bargaining in Northern Europe funded by the Research Council of Norway and led by the Fafo centre in Europe. Data indicate that co-ordination of collective bargaining has often used, and sometimes invoked, as an instrument to overcome the European economic crisis across much of Northern Europe, which contrasts with the policy recommendations issued by international organisations for crisis-struck countries in Southern Europe.
  • Negotiating health and safety in the garment industry in Bangladesh: Jimmy Donaghey and Juliane Reinecke have studied the negotiation and implementation of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Their results have led to collaboration with the Ethical Trade Initiative to develop tools for the analysis and monitoring of the Accord’s implementation
  • Active inclusion and social dialogue: Guglielmo Meardi, Manuela Galetto and Anna Mori completed a European project, funded by the European Commission and co-ordinated by Luigi Burroni at the University of Florence, on the multi-level implementation of the European Commission’s Recommendations on Active Inclusion. The study points at a patchy, but positive, role of social dialogue in promoting and implementing new labour market policies for disadvantaged groups at European, national and regional levels.
  • European sectoral social dialogue: Manuela Galetto started working on a European project, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Barbara Bechter at the University of Durham, on the factors explaining the variation in the engagement of national social partners in European sectoral social dialogue. The research covers trade unions and employer organisations in 43 sectors and 28 member states, and in-depth studies in two sectors and five countries.
  • IRRU, in collaboration with Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research, has continued as the UK national centre for the EU ‘EurWORK’ Observatory covering industrial relations, working conditions and restructuring, supplying features and reports on national developments, and undertaking thematic comparative analysis, embracing all 28 EU member states, for the Observatories. Among others, in 2016 our doctoral researcher Duncan Adam edited a comparative study of Uber.