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  • 51.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Juska, Arunas
    East Carolina University, USA.
    Neoliberal Austerity and Corporate Crime: The collapse of the Maxima supermarket in Riga, Latvia2014In: NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, ISSN 1048-2911, E-ISSN 1541-3772, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 129-152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The roof collapse of the Maxima supermarket in Riga, Latvia on November 21, 2013 left 54 dead. This analysis identifies the disaster as a “safety crime.” Neoliberal deregulatory measures, intensified by the global economic and financial crisis and a programme of radical austerity, together with corporate and state disregard of public safety and well-being, combined to produce the disaster. The wider context and underlying causes of catastrophic safety failure exemplify the inherently contradictory character of the neoliberal “Baltic model” of austerity, recently much in vogue with international policymakers in both Europe and the United States. The authors conclude that the current renewed drive by the European Commission towards reducing regulation for business, especially in the aftermath of the crisis, further justifies longstanding anti-regulatory preferences of neoliberal domestic elites, with the result that the costs of disregard for public safety are externalized onto the general populace.

  • 52.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Juska, Arunas
    University of East Carolina, NC, USA.
    Postscript: a very Baltic tragedy - the collapse of the Maxima supermarket in Riga, Latvia2014In: The contraditions of austerity: the socio-economic costs of the neoliberal Baltic model / [ed] Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson, London and New York: Routledge, 2014, p. 149-173Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The roof collapse of the Maxima supermarket in Riga, Latvia on November 21, 2013 left 54 dead. This analysis identifies the disaster as a “safety crime.” Neoliberal deregulatory measures, intensified by the global economic and financial crisis and a programme of radical austerity, together with corporate and state disregard of public safety and well-being, combined to produce the disaster. The wider context and underlying causes of catastrophic safety failure exemplify the inherently contradictory character of the neoliberal “Baltic model” of austerity, recently much in vogue with international policymakers in both Europe and the United States. The authors conclude that the current renewed drive by the European Commission towards reducing regulation for business, especially in the aftermath of the crisis, further justifies longstanding anti-regulatory preferences of neoliberal domestic elites, with the result that the costs of disregard for public safety are externalized onto the general populace.

  • 53.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Kallaste, Epp
    Illusory Corporatism “Mark 2”’ in the Baltic States2011In: Warsaw Forum of Economic Sociology, ISSN 2081-9633, Vol. 2, no 1 (3), p. 51-72Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In their paper the authors employ the notion of ‘illusory corporatism’ coined over a decade ago. In the Baltic states, despite introduction of neo-corporatist institutional arrangements, neo-liberal policies have prevailed, thus the term appears appropriate to describe the actual status of tripartite social dialogue in the area for many years. Following the onset of the global economic crisis, which deeply aff ected the Baltic region, neo-corporatist type arrangements seem to have been re-embraced by trade unions and received support of the state. However, this renewed interest in neo-corporatism is mostly a tactical move on the part of the state, aiming to facilitate social peace in the times of recession and the implementation of stern austerity measures, with trade unions largely failing to infl uence the shape of anti-crisis policies of governments. Th us this new chapter in the history of social dialogue in the Baltic states is labelled ‘illusory corporatism Mark 2’.

  • 54.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies.
    Kallaste, Epp
    Estonian Center for Applied Research CentAR.
    Berzins, Janis
    Department of Political Science, Riga Stradins University, Latvia.
    Industrial relations and social dialogue in the Baltic states: crisis, conflict and compromise2011In: Globalising Employment Relations?: Multinational Corporations and Central and Eastern European transitions / [ed] S. Contrepois, V. Delteil, P. Dieuaide and S. Jefferys, London: Palgrave Macmillan , 2011, 1, p. 179-197Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter describes first, the economic contours of the crisis in the Baltic States , taking into account the differences between each country. Second, the various governmental crisis-response measures are outlined, and the key question is posed: how is it possible to sustain an accord between capital and labour, given the scale of sacrifices imposed on the latter? To answer this, the third part of the chapter, overviews existing arrangements for social dialogue and the structure and density of trade union organisation in the post-communist era. Fourth, the responses of organised labour to governmental policy are discussed. It is suggested that after initial potentially destabilising opposition, the trade unions have increasingly come to accept a revival of previous neo-corporatist compromise arrangements.

  • 55.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Likic-Brboric, Branka
    Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Migrants and the unequal burdening of “toxic” risk:: Towards a new global governance regime2008In: Debatte, ISSN 0965-156X, E-ISSN 1469-3712, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 291-308Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article addresses the changing discourse that frames the neo-liberal regulatory agenda, in the context of the current financial crisis and related, system-threatening ‘toxic’ risk. In this, the authors claim that a flexible mix of regulation/deregulation and self-regulation is reflected in an asymmetric architecture of multilevel governance that is based on an unequal burden-sharing of risk, involving the commodification of risk and an imposition of this burden on the socially weakest groups. Migrant workers are identified as being most vulnerable to the condition of precariousness due to ‘double asymmetry of hyperprecarity’. The article identifies class-biased practices of regulatory failure and the counter-movements that they have generated around the demand for “decent work”. It is claimed that the present systemic failure has created only a ‘window of opportunity’ for the working class and civil society actors to promote de-commodification of labour and equalization of risk-burdening in the inception of a new regulatory contest on both national and transnational level.

  • 56.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Mesic, Nedzad
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Roma berry pickers in Sweden: Economic crisis and new contingents of the austeriat2015In: Transfer - European Review of Labour and Research, ISSN 1024-2589, E-ISSN 1996-7284, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 37-50Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the current era of austerity free movement of labour has produced an ongoing but also contingent flow of migrant labour, an austeriat, moving from poorer crisis-hit regions of Europe to those countries such as Sweden where the crisis has been less severe. This article describes the working and living experiences of Bulgarian Roma berry pickers in Sweden. It argues that, in the context of a previously well-regulated labour market, an erosion of labour standards based on the exploitation of seasonal unskilled labour migrants from Bulgaria is occurring in the Swedish berry industry, in turn posing challenges for labour market actors and regulatory authorities. The article concludes with a discussion of what might be appropriate European and national trade union responses to the issues of labour precariousness which have emerged.

  • 57.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    University of Glasgow, UK.
    Petrylaite, Daiva
    University of Vilnius, Lithuania.
    Missing in action: The Right to Strike in the Post-Communist new Member States - An Absent EU competence2006In: International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, ISSN 0952-617X, E-ISSN 1875-838X, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 439-467Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores a neglected aspect of legislative reform, the right to strike, in the post-communist new EU Member States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It suggests a tension, on the one hand, between the endorsement of free collective bargaining as integral to post-communist democratic transformation, and on the other hand, domestic exigencies, as perceived by business and political elites, for social peace and the necessary disempowerment of labour as an independent actor. During the past decade and a half of capitalist transformation there has been ambivalence about the desirable scope of the exercise of the right to strike. It is paradoxical in this area of collective labour relations, reflecting most precisely the balance of power between labour and capital, that the European Union lacks legislative competence, despite the declared endorsement of the fundamental right to withdraw labour.

  • 58.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Sommers, Jeffrey
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.
    Austerity and the Demise of Social Europe: The Baltic Model versus the European Social Model2016In: Globalizations, ISSN 1474-7731, E-ISSN 1474-774X, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 78-93Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article draws on the experience of the imposition of radical austerity measures in the Baltic states. It challenges the myth that austerity can be achieved in a socially and economically ‘costless’ manner. Baltic-style austerity has now become a template of ‘successful adjustment’ and a recipe for recovery of the Eurozone. The authors argue contra such ‘myth-making’ that austerity is compromising the longer run sustainability of societies that follow this path, while simultaneously ending prospects of the adhesion of a European ‘Social Model’ in the post-communist periphery. The article is a contribution to an emerging debate in academic and policy circles concerning the viability and future of Europe’s ‘Social Model’ in an age of austerity.

  • 59.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Sommers, Jeffrey
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.
    Conclusion: The neoliberal Baltic austerity model against Social Europe2014In: The Contradictions of Austerity : The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model / [ed] Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson, London and New York: Routledge, 2014, 1, p. 103-110Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 60.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    University of Glasgow, UK.
    Sommers, Jeffrey
    Stockholm School of Economics, Riga, Latvia.
    Die Gestaltung des neuen Europas nach der EU-Erweiterung: Rechtliche und politische Implikationen des „Laval un Partneri- Streits“ um Sozialstandards’ zwischen Lettland und Schweden2006In: Arbeit. Zeitschrift für Arbeitsforschung, Arbeitsgestaltung und Arbeitspolitik, ISSN 0941-5025, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 85-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [de]

    Der Beitritt der neuen Mitgliedstaaten aus Zentral- und Osteuropa zur Europäischen Union (EU) könnte durch die schwach ausgeprägten Gewerkschaftsstrukturen und den wenig entwickelten sozialen Dialog dieser Staaten die vorgeschriebenen Arbeitsstandards der Länder mit starken Gewerkschaftsbewegungen, wie Schweden, bedrohen. Dieser Artikel betrachtet die politischen, wirtschaftlichen und legalen Implikationen eines Arbeitsstreiks in der Bauindustrie, verursacht durch die Beschäftigung lettischer Arbeiter in Schweden durch die lettische Baufirma Laval un Partneri. Der Streit zeigt im Kleinen beispielhaft die wahrgenommenen Gefahren für die Arbeitsstandards, die sich durch die Osterweiterung der EU ergeben. The accession to the European Union of Central and East European new member states with weak trade union movements and poorly developed social dialogue may pose a threat to regulated labour standards in advanced social democracies with strong trade union movements such as Sweden. This article examines the political, economic and legal implications of a labour dispute in the construction industry arising from the presence of Latvian contract labour in Sweden employed by Laval un Partneri. The dispute exemplifies in microcosm the perceived challenges to labour standards posed by the recent Eastward enlargement of the EU.

  • 61.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Sommers, Jeffrey
    Univesity of Wisconsin-MIlwaukee, USA.
    Introduction: The Baltics and the political economy of austerity2014In: The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model / [ed] Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson, London and New York: Routledge, 2014, 1, p. 1-16Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 62.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    University of Glasgow.
    Sommers, Jeffrey
    University of Wisconsin.
    Trajectories of Entropy and "the Labour Question": The Political Economy of Post-communist Migration in the New Europe2008In: Debatte, ISSN 0965-156X, E-ISSN 1469-3712, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 53-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     

    This article begins by outlining the global historical context of contingent neoliberalism which has emerged in the late twentieth century as the dominant alternative economic trajectory to that of corporatist liberal welfare capitalism. Our analysis connects contemporary dimensions of labour migration and the challenges of economic development. It is relevant to the understanding of contemporary developments in Central and Eastern Europe in that we locate a case study of labour migration from the Baltic State of Latvia as an outcome of the application of the trajectory of neoliberalism that more widely now threatens to dismantle Jacques Delors’ “Social Europe” model. We argue that in the new post-communist EU member states such as Latvia, such socioeconomic prescriptions based on a “low road” of poor labour standards fail to deliver sustainable development for those who have adopted this path.

     

  • 63.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    University of Glasgow, UK.
    Sommers, Jeffrey
    Raritan College, USA and SSE, Riga.
    Thörnqvist, Christer
    University of Gothenburg and Yale University.
    Where next for European trade union rights?2008In: CLR News (Construction Labour Research News), ISSN 1997-1745, no 3, p. 5-10Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The European Court of Justice, since the end of 2007, has delivered a series of rulings in the Viking, Laval, Rüffert and the Luxemburg cases, which directly address issues of the right to defend existing standards against erosion by workers prepared to work for lower wages and under inferior conditions. The series of hostile judgments has come as a shock to many in the European labour movement. The Court has clearly privileged the economic priorities of the European project, in particular, European treaty provisions on freedom of provision of services and the freedom of establishment of undertakings over the ‘social dimension’ of the European project.

  • 64.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Thörnqvist, Christer
    Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Herzfeld Olsson, Petra
    Department of Law, University of Uppsala, Sweden.
    Forced Labour in Sweden? Case of Migrant Berry Pickers: A Report to the Council of Baltic Sea States Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings: Forced Labour Exploitation and Counter Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region2011Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    The legal transposition in Sweden of international law on forced labour is analysed and important weaknesses in the implementation and application of such law are identified. These deficiencies are illustrated by the treatment and means of redress available to foreign berry pickers who annually gather wild berries in the forests of Sweden. A case study of the recruitment and employment of Thai berry pickers is presented, exemplifying serious deficiencies in labour protection both in terms of legal recourse and regulation through the labour market. As a result groups of berry pickers have been subject to various illegal forms of detriment amounting to evidence of forced labour. A number of policy recommendations are made for strengthening the legal and labour market regulatory framework to enable effective control of forced labour in this sector of work in Sweden.

  • 65.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Thörnqvist, Christer
    University of Gothenburg.
    Sommers, Jeffrey
    Department of Africology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
    The Swedish model and the future of labour standards after Laval2010In: Industrial relations journal, ISSN 0019-8692, E-ISSN 1468-2338, Vol. 41, no 4, p. 333-350Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reflects on the European Court of Justice ruling in the case of Laval, involving Latvian posted workers in Sweden. It analyses the implications of the ruling and ensuing debate over the Laval case for the future of the ‘Swedish model’ and labour standards. It suggests that profound dilemmas now face trade unions both at Swedish national and European level as to appropriate strategies to adopt to defend national pay and working conditions in the light of the European Court decision and especially in the Swedish context due to the subsequent ruling by the Swedish Labour Court. Nevertheless, a human rights discourse is emerging in which the European Court of Human Rights may act as a counterbalance to the European Court of Justice, especially in the context of the Lisbon Treaty.

  • 66.
    Woolfson, Charles
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Vanadzins, I.
    Institute of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, Latvia.
    Historical and contemporary challenges to occupational safety and health in Latvia2014In: Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, ISSN 1477-3996, E-ISSN 1477-4003, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 47-65Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the historical and contemporary challenges created for occupational safety and health in the EU member state of Latvia, which joined the European Union in 20It examines the historical background for the determinants of workplace health and safety in Latvia as a former Soviet republic, and thereafter, following independence from the USSR in 1991, as an open-market neoliberal economy. These divergent contexts have set a problematic trajectory of reactive path dependency with respect to the regulation of occupational safety and health.With the onset of the economic and financial crisis of 2008 onwards, Latvia suffered a particularly sharp economic downturn. We suggest that previous limited advances made in the management of occupational safety and health at the workplace level since accession to the European Union may have been undermined. Ever since the crisis, business and policy actors have sought to promote rapid economic recovery as the overall priority, at the expense of protective occupational safety and health regulation. This approach was brought into sharp relief with the collapse of the Maxima supermarket roof in Riga in November 2013, resulting in 54 fatalities. The event has raised debates on the enforcement of safety regulation in the new era of neoliberal austerity to a greater level of public salience, although with, as yet, uncertain policy outcomes.

12 51 - 66 of 66
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