Books

2022 (forthcoming)

Jobs with Inequality: Financialization, Post-Democracy, and Labour Market Deregulation in Canada

John Peters (CRIMT-UdeM / BlueGreen Ideas / Carleton University)

Toronto University Press, 480 p. (ISBN : 978.1.4426.4619.3)

Income inequality has skyrocketed in Canada over the past decades. The rich have become richer, while the average household income has deteriorated and job quality, plummeted. Common explanations for these trends point to globalization, technology, or other forces largely beyond our control. But as Jobs with Inequality shows, there is nothing inevitable about inequality.

Rather, runaway inequality is the result of politics and policies, and what governments have done to aid the rich and boost finance, and what has not done to uphold the interests of workers.

Drawing on new tax and income data, John Peters tells the story of how inequality is unfolding in Canada today by examining post-democracy, financialization, and labour market deregulation. Timely and novel, the book explains how and why business and government have rewritten the rules of the economy to the advantage of the few, and considers why progressive efforts to reverse these trends have so regularly run aground. 


2021

Justice in the Workplace. Overcoming Ethical Dilemmas

Matthieu de Nanteuil (UCLouvain)

Edward Edgar Publishing, 224 p. (ISBN : 978.1.80037.3419)

This timely book explores new social justice challenges in the workplace. Adopting a long-term perspective, it focuses on value conflicts, or ethical dilemmas, in contemporary organisations. Matthieu de Nanteuil holds a strong and original position in this regard. The problem is not so much the existence of value conflicts: it is more the fact that the actors do not have a frame of justice that allows them to overcome these conflicts without renouncing their deeply held values.

However – and this is crucial – these frames of justice are plural. The book proposes tangible solutions, based around four frames of justice: ethics of discussion, negotiation, development and recognition. It offers a systematic review of their strengths and weaknesses as applied to the workplace. The author translates them to real life situations through a range of case studies, demonstrating practical outcomes applicable to the day-to-day working environment and highlighting that there is no one universal approach.


Original and engaging, this book will be of interest to scholars of workplace ethics, labour policy, sociology of work and social theory. It will also be a key resource for HRM policy makers, trade unionists and managers dealing with human issues in the organisation.   

[Download the first chapter]


2021

Un regard contemporain sur les relations du travail dans les secteurs public et parapublic québécois

Jean-Noël Grenier (Université Laval), François Bolduc (Université Laval)

Presses de l’Université Laval, 128 p.

Comment le régime de relations de travail facilite-t-il l’implantation d’un modèle de gestion et d’organisation du travail influencé par le courant du nouveau management public ? 

[Book in French] Depuis une trentaine d’années, les services et les secteurs publics occidentaux sont l’objet de réformes inspirées par la nouvelle gestion publique. L’administration publique québécoise ne fait pas exception. Dans ce contexte, cet ouvrage cherche à saisir l’influence de la nouvelle gestion publique sur le régime de négociation collective propre au secteur public et parapublic québécois. Après une description des principales caractéristiques de ce régime, ainsi que des fondements de la nouvelle gestion publique, l’attention est portée sur la négociation collective dans les secteurs de la fonction publique, de la santé et des services sociaux et de l’éducation. L’analyse permet de réfléchir à l’influence du régime de négociation collective sur la capacité de l’État à imposer ses volontés en matière d’organisation du travail et de modes de gestion, et sur la capacité des organisations syndicales à y faire face. 


2020

The Political Economy of Work in the Global South

Anita Hammer (University of Essex), Adam Fishwick (De Montfort University)

Red Globe Press, 306 p. (ISBN: 978.1.352.00976.7)

Part of the Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment series, this edited collection brings together contributions from leading international scholars to initiate an important dialogue between labour process analysis and scholarship on work in the Global South. This book characterises the forms of work and labour process that characterise globalising capitalism today and addresses core analytical concerns within Labour Process Theory and research on work in the South. It explores how a wide range of production relations in the Global South, ranging from formal to informal employment and self-employment, are embedded in wider social relations of gender, caste, religion and ethnicity, and are related to wider patterns of commodification and resistance. Drawing on cutting-edge research, the book’s chapters consider a diverse range of working situations, covering migrant workers in the Middle East, commercial surrogacy work in India and cooperative garment workers in Argentina.

In offering a novel reading of the political economy of work in the Global South and shedding light on lesser-considered fields of work and worker organization, this volume will provide new insights for making sense of the changing world of work for students, scholars, labour activists and practitioners alike. 


2020

Intelligence artificielle, gestion du personnel et droit du travail

Patrice Adam (Université de Lorraine), Martine Le Friant (Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse), Yasmine Tarasewicz (Avocate associée) (Eds.)

Dalloz, 252 p. (ISBN: 978.2.247.19608.1)

L’intelligence artificielle (IA) modifie, imprègne, modèle le monde. À cette révolution, l’entreprise n’échappe pas. Elle en est même l’un des principaux lieux. Et si l’IA s’intègre déjà, de différentes manières et à différents niveaux, dans le fonctionnement des organisations productives, elle est aussi facteur possible d’une transformation radicale de la gestion des «ressources humaines».L’avènement d’un manager numérique, à corps de big data et àtête d’algorithmes, suscite craintes et espoirs.

Pour certains, il annonce un monde où l’objectivité triomphera enfin de la subjectivité humaine et des biais cognitifs qui lui sont attachés, où le jeu de la rationalité évacuera les passions et les préjugés. D’autres font prophétie plus sombre : l’IA construira un monde où l’Homme (au travail) — déshumanisé — ne sera plus qu’un flux de données, une trace numérique, où la responsabilité et la liberté se dilueront dans le jeu d’algorithmes indéchiffrables.

À ces transformations, le droit (du travail) et les juristes ne peuvent rester étrangers. Elles doivent être pour eux objet d’études et d’analyses. Le présent ouvrage, fruit d’un projet collectif mené par l’Association Française de Droit du Travail et de la sécurité sociale (AFDT), entend apporter une contribution à cette indispensable réflexion.


2020

Shifting Solidarities. Trends and Developments in European Societies

Ine Van Hoyweghen (KU Leuven), Valeria Pulignano (KU Leuven), Gert Meyers (KU Leuven) (Eds.)

Palgrave Macmillan, 284 p. (ISBN: 978.3.030.44062.6)

Shifting Solidarities offers a comprehensive analysis of solidarity at a time when major social transformations have penetrated the heart of European societies, disrupting markets and labour relations, transforming social practices, and affecting the moral infrastructure of European welfare states. Factors such as the economic crisis, migration, digitalisation, and climate change all contribute to a sense of emergency. This volume considers how, in times of crisis, there are calls for solidarity by various new social and political actors and movements. 

The contributions present a broad array of empirical work and critical scholarship, zooming in on shifting solidarities in various domains of social life, including work, social policy, health care, religion, family, gender and migration. This compelling volume provides a unique resource for understanding solidarity in contemporary Europe, and will be a vital text for students and scholars across sociology, social policy, cultural studies, employment/labour markets and organisation studies, migration studies and European studies.


2020

Le manifeste travail. Démocratiser, démarchandiser, dépolluer

Isabelle Ferreras (TED-CriDIS-UCLouvain), Julie Battilana (Harvard University), Dominique Méda (IRISSO-Université Paris-Dauphine) (Eds.)

Le Seuil, 216 p. (ISBN: 978.2.02.147049.9)

[Book in French] Sous la direction d’Isabelle Ferreras, Julie Battilana et Dominique Méda. Avec Adelle Blackett, Julia Cagé, Neera Chandhoke, Imge Kaya-Sabanci, Lisa Herzog, Sara Lafuente, Hélène Landemore, Flavia Maximo et Pavlina R. Tcherneva.

Comment faire face à la crise que nous traversons ? Le système capitaliste néo-libéral fondé sur la seule recherche du profit ne fera que renforcer la concentration des richesses, aggraver les inégalités et détruire chaque jour un peu plus notre écosystème. Contre le statu quo, un collectif de femmes, chercheuses en sciences sociales issues de tous horizons, appelle à un nouveau partage du pouvoir au sein des entreprises, condition d’une véritable transition écologique.

Elles sont les auteures du Manifeste Travail, déjà traduit en 27 langues et qui est devenu en quelques semaines l’amorce d’un mouvement mondial. Leur projet ? Démocratiser l’entreprise, pour permettre aux travailleur·euse·s de participer aux décisions qui les concernent. Démarchandiser le travail, pour protéger certains secteurs des seules lois du marché, mais aussi garantir à chacun l’accès à un travail qui lui permette d’assurer sa dignité. Au moment où nous faisons face à la fois au risque pandémique, aux dérives populistes et à la menace d’un effondrement climatique, ces deux changements stratégiques permettront aussi d’agir collectivement pour dépolluer la planète et préserver les conditions de la vie sur terre.

Afin de poursuivre les échanges sur le Manifeste, nous avons réuni, les 17 et 18 novembre 2020, ses auteures et d’éminents représentants et spécialistes du monde du travail afin de discuter des priorités (actuelles et futures) qui découlent de la pandémie de Covid-19. Cette conversation sur Démocratiser le travail était une initiative du Partenariat du CRIMT sur l’expérimentation institutionnelle et l’amélioration du travail, du Karl Polanyi Institut, et de l’axe Industrie 4.0, travail et emploi de l’Observatoire international sur les impacts sociétaux de l’IA et du numérique. Les enregistrements de ces deux événements seront bientôt disponibles sur la Chaîne YouTube du CRIMT.


2020

Les loyautés multiples. Mal-être au travail et enjeux éthiques tome 2

Jennifer Centeno (Université Laval), Luc Bégin (Université Laval), Lyse Langlois (Université Laval) (Eds.)

Nota Bene, 234 p. (ISBN: 978.2.89518.728.8)

[Book in French] La rétroaction obtenue à la suite de la publication de l’ouvrage Les loyautés multiples (Nota bene, 2015), a incité les auteur·e·s à pousser davantage leur réflexion et à poser leur regard sur d’autres professions qui sont également aux prises avec cette source importante d’enjeux éthiques, mais jusqu’alors inexplorés sous cet angle. C’est ainsi qu’ils proposent un deuxième tome qui reprend la structure familière de l’ouvrage original, soit, dans un premier temps, la présentation de vignettes démontrant toute la richesse de cette thématique et, dans un deuxième temps, des chapitres d’approfondissement invitant à la réflexion et à l’exploration de potentielles pistes de solution.


2019

Les nouveaux travailleurs des applis

Sarah Abdelnour (IRISSO-Université Paris-Dauphine), Dominique Méda (IRISSO-Université Paris-Dauphine)

PUF, 120 p. (ISBN: 978.2.13.081523.5)

[Book in French] Deliveroo, Uber, Etsy, Foule Factory, etc. : autant d’applications et de plateformes en ligne qui prétendent bouleverser nos façons de consommer. Mais qu’en est-il de nos manières de travailler ?

Plus qu’une innovation technique, les plateformes numériques apparaissent comme le lieu d’une redéfinition des règles du jeu en matière d’emploi et de travail. Entre marchandisation des activités de loisir et gratuité du travail, le « capitalisme de plate­formes » participe de l’émergence de formes renouvelées, voire exacerbées, de sujétion des travailleurs. Loin des idéaux d’une prétendue « économie du partage », n’assiste-t-on pas au déploiement de nouvelles dynamiques du capitalisme avancé ?

À partir d’enquêtes sur les chauffeurs et livreurs, ou encore sur les chefs à domicile, cet ouvrage met au jour la tâcheronnisation des travailleurs et l’extension du domaine du travail, tout en analysant les résistances et les régulations de ces nouvelles activités.


2019

Everyday Transgressions. Domestic Workers’ Transnational Challenge to International Labor Law

Adelle Blackett (LLDRL-McGill University)

Cornell University Press, 306 p. (ISBN: 978.1.50.171575.4)

Adelle Blackett tells the story behind the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention No. 189, and its accompanying Recommendation No. 201 which in 2011 created the first comprehensive international standards to extend fundamental protections and rights to the millions of domestic workers laboring in other peoples’ homes throughout the world. As the principal legal architect, Blackett is able to take us behind the scenes to show us how Convention No. 189 transgresses the everyday law of the household workplace to embrace domestic workers’ human rights claim to be both workers like any other, and workers like no other. In doing so, she discusses the importance of understanding historical forms of invisibility, recognizes the influence of the domestic workers themselves, and weaves in poignant experiences, infusing the discussion of laws and standards with intimate examples and sophisticated analyses. Looking to the future, she ponders how international institutions such as the ILO will address labor market informality alongside national and regional law reform. Regardless of what comes next, Everyday Transgressions establishes that domestic workers’ victory is a victory for the ILO and for all those who struggle for an inclusive, transnational vision of labor law, rooted in social justice.


2019

Les patrons de la vertu : de la responsabilité sociale des entreprises au devoir de Vigilance

Pauline Barraud de Lagerie (IRISSO-Université Paris-Dauphine)

Presses universitaires de Rennes, 218 p. (ISBN: 978.2.7535.7641.4)

[Book in French] La révolution opérée par la loi sur le devoir de vigilance (2017) n’est pas tant d’avoir établi une responsabilité des donneurs d’ordre, qui existait déjà sous d’autres formes, que d’en avoir fait une obligation légale. C’est ce que montre cet ouvrage en décrivant comment, depuis les années 1990, des mouvements militants ont d’abord poussé les entreprises à prendre des engagements volontaires pour améliorer les conditions de travail chez leurs fournisseurs, avant de remettre en question ces démarches d’autorégulation. En retraçant ainsi les origines de la loi sur le devoir de vigilance, l’ouvrage invite aussi à en interroger les promesses et à en suivre le devenir.


2019

Employment Relations in the 21st Century: Challenges for Theory and Research in a Changing World of Work

Valeria Pulignano (KU Leuven), Frank Hendrickx (KU Leuven)

Wolters Klüver, 449 p. (ISBN: 978.9.40.351764.3)

Employment Relations in the 21st Century provides a full and integrated insight into labour law and industrial relations. It cannot be denied that in recent decades, for many, if not most people, work has become unstable and insecure, with serious risk and few benefits for workers. As this reality spills over into political and social life, it is crucial to interrogate the transformations affecting employment relations, shape research agendas, and influence the policies of national and international institutions. This implies to focus on transnational regulatory structures and new forms of social protection and representation for different typologies and forms of work as a way to avoid increasing inequalities across (and within) countries. This volume brings together thirty-nine scholars (both academics and experienced industrial relations actors) in the fields of employment relations and labour law in a forthright discussion of new approaches, theories, and methods aimed at ameliorating the world of work.


2019

The Realities and Futures of Work

David Peetz (WOW-Griffith University)

ANU Press, 405 p. (ISBN: 978.1.76.046310.6)

What do we know about the current realities of work and its likely futures? What choices must we make and how will they affect those futures? Many books about the future of work start by talking about the latest technology, and focus on how technology is going to change the way we work. And there is no doubt that technology will have huge impacts. However, to really understand the direction in which work is going, and the impact that technology and other forces will have, we need to first understand where we are.

This book covers topics ranging from the ‘mega-drivers of change’ at work, power, globalisation and financialisation, to management, workers, digitalisation, the gig economy, gender, climate change, regulation and deregulation. In doing this, it refers to some of the great works of science fiction. It demolishes several myths, such as that the employment relationship is doomed, that we are all heading to becoming ‘freelancers’ or ‘gig workers’ one day, that most jobs will be destroyed by technological change, that the growth in jobs will mainly be in STEM fields, that we will no longer value collectivism as we will all be ‘individuals’, or that the death of unionism is inevitable.

The Realities and Futures of Work also rejects the idea of technological determinism—that whatever will be, will be, thanks to technological change—and so it refuses to accept that we simply need to prepare to adapt ourselves to the future by judicious training since there is nothing else we can do about it. Instead, this book provides a realistic basis for thinking about both the present and the future. It emphasises the choices we make, and the implications of those choices for the future of work.

Download this book in PDF [Open access]


2019

The Politics of Social Inclusion and Labor Representation. Immigrants and Trade Unions in the European Context

Heather Connolly (Grenoble EM), Stefania Marino (WEI-University of Manchester), Miguel Martínez Lucio (WEI-University of Manchester)

Cornell University Press, 222 p. (ISBN: 978.1.50.173657.5)

In The Politics of Social Inclusion and Labor Representation, Heather Connolly, Stefania Marino, and Miguel Martínez Lucio compare trade union responses to immigration and the related political and labour market developments in the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The labor movement is facing significant challenges as a result of such changes in the modern context. As such, the authors closely examine the idea of social inclusion and how trade unions are coping with and adapting to the need to support immigrant workers and develop various types of engagement and solidarity strategies in the European context.

Traversing the dramatically shifting immigration patterns since the 1970s, during which emerged a major crisis of capitalism, the labor market, and society, and the contingent rise of anti-immigration sentiment and new forms of xenophobia, the authors assess and map how trade unions have to varying degrees understood and framed these issues and immigrant labor. They show how institutional traditions, and the ways that trade unions historically react to social inclusion and equality, have played a part in shaping the nature of current initiatives. The Politics of Social Inclusion and Labor Representation concludes that we need to appreciate the complexity of trade-union traditions, established paths to renewal, and competing trajectories of solidarity. While trade union organizations remain wedded to specific trajectories, trade union renewal remains an innovative, if at times, problematic and complex set of choices and aspirations.


2019

The Life of an Academic Lawyer. Connecting the dots

Harry Arthurs (York University)

McGill-Queen’s University Press, 184 p. (ISBN: 978.0.77.355709.3)

Harry W. Arthurs is a name held in high esteem by labour lawyers and academics throughout the world. Although many are familiar with Arthurs’s contributions and accomplishments, few are acquainted with the man himself, or how he came to be one of the most influential figures in Canadian law and legal education. In Connecting the Dots Arthurs recounts his adventures in academe and the people, principles, ideas, motivations, and circumstances that have shaped his thinking and his career. The memoir offers intimate recollections and observations, beginning with the celebrated ancestors who influenced Arthurs’s upbringing and education. It then sweeps through his career as an architect of important reforms in legal education and explores his research as a trailblazing commentator on the legal profession. Arthurs analyzes his experiences as a legal theorist and historian and his pivotal role as a discordant voice in debates over constitutional and administrative law. Along the way, he muses on the intellectual projects he embraced or set in motion, the institutional reforms he advocated, the public policies he recommended, and how they fared long term. Framed with commentary on the historical context that shaped each decade of his career and punctuated by moments of personal reflection, Connecting the Dots is a humorous, frank, and fearless account of the rise and fall of Canadian labour law from the man who was at the centre of it all.


2019

Droit des rapports collectifs du travail au Québec, 3e édition, volume 1 – Le régime général

Michel Coutu (Université de Montréal), Laurence Léa Fontaine (UQAM), Georges Marceau (Melançon, Marceau, Grenier et Scortino), Urwana Coiquaud (HEC Montréal), Julie Bourgault (UQO)

Éditions Yvon Blais, 1262 p. (ISBN: 978.2.89.730514.7 )

[Book in French] Droit des rapports collectifs du travail au Québec se veut d’abord un manuel visant à combler les besoins d’apprentissage des étudiants en droit du travail et en relations industrielles, de même qu’un livre de référence destiné à servir les praticiens de ces deux disciplines. Mais il s’agit également d’une étude critique du droit des rapports collectifs du travail animée d’une double perspective théorique : mettre en lumière les carences de ce droit à l’heure de la mondialisation et de ses ratées économiques, financières et sociales; souligner les possibilités qu’offre aux acteurs la mobilisation des normes juridiques compte tenu du mouvement de constitutionnalisation du droit du travail. L’ouvrage, tout en donnant un exposé précis de l’état du droit en la matière, entend donc apporter une contribution originale à la réflexion critique sur les rapports collectifs du travail dont l’importance économique, sociale et politique, grandement mise à mal à l’échelle de l’Amérique du Nord, demeure pourtant significative en contexte québécois.


2018

Wildfire and Power: Policy and Practice

Peter Fairbrother (CPOW-RMIT), Meagan Tyler (CPOW-RMIT) (Eds.)

Routledge, 214 p. (ISBN: 978.1.13.837020.3)

This book brings together perspectives from sociology, political science, gender studies, and history to produce new ways of analysing wildfire preparedness and policy in Australia. Drawing on data from hundreds of interviews with residents, volunteers and emergency services professionals living and working in wildfire-prone areas, the authors focus on issues of power and inequality, the contested nature of community and the relationship between citizens and the state.

The book questions not only existing policy approaches, but also the central concepts on which they are founded. In doing so, the aim is to create a more conceptually robust and academically contextualised discussion about the limitations of current wildfire policy approaches in Australia and to provide further evidence of the need for disaster studies to engage with a variety of social science approaches.

Wildfire and Power: Policy and Practice will be of most interest to higher degree by research students, other academics and policy makers examining the evolving patterns and politics of work, employment, management and industrial relations as well as those involved in emergency and disaster management service delivery. It would be most suited to academic and public libraries as well as organisations in the field of emergency and disaster management.


2018

Homeworking Women. A Gender Justice Perspective

Annie Delaney (CPOW-RMIT), Rosaria Burchielli (La Trobe University), Shelley Marshall (CPOW-RMIT), Jane Tate (Homeworkers Worldwide)

Routledge, 196 p. (ISBN: 978.1.78.353532.3)

Homework; work that is categorised as informal employment, performed in the home, mainly for subcontractors and mostly undertaken by women. The inequities and injustices inherent in homework conditions maintain women’s weak bargaining position, preventing them from making any improvements to their lives via their work. The best way to tackle these issues is not to abolish, but to bring equality and justice to homework.

This book contributes a gender justice framework to analyse and confront the issues and problems of homework. The authors propose four justice dimensions – recognition, representation, rights and redistribution – to examine and analyse homework. This framework also takes into account the structures and processes of capitalism and the patriarchy, and the relations of domination that are widely held to be the major factors that determine homework injustice. The authors discuss strategies and approaches that have worked for homeworkers, highlighting why they worked and the features that were beneficial for them.

Homeworking Women will be of interest to individuals and organisations working with or for the collective benefit of homeworkers, academics and students interested in feminism, labour regulation, informal work, supply chains and social and political justice.


2018

Defying Expectations. The Case of UFCW Local 401

Jason Foster (Athabasca University)

AU PRESS, 204 p. (ISBN: 978.1.77.199199.5)

In October 2005, Jason Foster, then a staff member of the Alberta Federation of Labour, was holding a picket line outside Lakeside Packers in Brooks, Alberta with the members of local 401. It was a first contract strike. And although the employees of the meat-packing plant—many of whom were immigrants and refugees—had chosen an unlikely partner in the United Food and Commercial Workers local, the newly formed alliance allowed the workers to stand their ground for a three-week strike that ended in the defeat of the notoriously anti-union company, Tyson Foods.

It was but one example of a wide range of industries and occupations that local 401 organized over the last twenty years.

In this study of UFCW 401, Foster investigates a union that has had remarkable success organizing a group of workers that North American unions often struggle to reach: immigrants, women, and youth. By examining not only the actions and behaviour of the local’s leadership and its members but also the narrative that accompanied the renewal of the union, Foster shows that both were essential components to legitimizing the leadership’s exercise of power and its unconventional organizing forces.

Download this book in PDF [Open access]


2018

Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada

Barry Eidlin (McGill University)

Cambridge University Press, 386 p. (ISBN: 978.1.31.622718.3)

Why are unions weaker in the US than in Canada, two otherwise similar countries? This difference has shaped politics, policy, and levels of inequality. Conventional wisdom points to differences in political cultures, party systems, and labor laws. But Barry Eidlin’s systematic analysis of archival and statistical data shows the limits of conventional wisdom, and presents a novel explanation for the cross-border difference. He shows that it resulted from different ruling party responses to worker upsurge during the Great Depression and World War II. Paradoxically, US labor’s long-term decline resulted from what was initially a more pro-labor ruling party response, while Canadian labor’s relative long-term strength resulted from a more hostile ruling party response. These struggles embedded ‘the class idea’ more deeply in policies, institutions, and practices than in the US. In an age of growing economic inequality and broken systems of political representation, Eidlin’s analysis offers insight for those seeking to understand these trends, as well as those seeking to change them.


2018

Max Weber’s Interpretive Sociology of Law

Michel Coutu (Université de Montréal)

Routledge, 315 p. (ISBN: 978.0.36.734897.7)

This book presents a clear and precise account of the structure and content of Max Weber’s sociology of law: situating its methodological and epistemological specificity in relation to other approaches to the sociology of law; as well as offering a critical evaluation of Weber’s usefulness for contemporary socio-legal research. The book is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the methodological foundations of Weber’s sociology of law. The second analyses the central theme of this sociology, the rationalisation of law, from the perspective of its internal logical coherence, its empirical validity, and finally its legitimacy. The third part questions the present-day relevance of the Weberian sociology of law for socio-legal research, notably with regard to legal pluralism. Max Weber, it is demonstrated, is not merely a ‘founding father’ of the sociology of law; rather, his methodology, concepts, and empirical analyses remain highly useful to the further development of work in this area.


2018

La légitimité du pouvoir dans l’entreprise : analyse critique de l’affaire Walmart de Jonquière

Charles Tremblay Potvin (Université Laval)

Éditions Yvon Blais, 315 p. (ISBN: 978.2.89.730283.2)

[Book in French] De tous les contrats qu’un sujet de droit est habilité à conclure dans une société dite de « libre marché », seul le contrat de travail postule que l’une des parties est subordonnée à l’autre. C’est ainsi que le 27 novembre 2009, le plus puissant employeur privé de la planète se voyait reconnaître par la Cour suprême du Canada la légitimité de son pouvoir de fermer l’un de ses établissements, sans égard à la protection offerte par le Code en faveur des salariés exerçant leur liberté syndicale.

Dix ans plus tard, quel bilan peut-on dresser de cette lutte syndicale ? La culture de gouvernance de l’entreprise Walmart, pourrait-on dire, n’est au fond qu’une illustration de la profonde transformation qu’a subie l’économie mondiale au cours des dernières décennies. Les principes qui sont au coeur du mode de régulation de notre système politique et économique méritent plus que jamais d’être analysés, remis en question et critiqués. Tel est l’objectif de cet ouvrage.

La première partie du volume définit l’entreprise et isole sa dimension politique en étudiant la spécificité du rapport salarial. La deuxième partie étudie la longue guérilla judiciaire entre les salariés et les dirigeants de Walmart qui a atteint un point culminant avec la fermeture de l’établissement de Jonquière le 29 avril 2005.


2018

Reconstructing Solidarity. Labour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe

Virginia Doellgast (ILR School-Cornell University), Nathan Lillie (University of Jyvaskyla), Valeria Pulignano (KU Leuven)

Oxford University Press, 288 p. (ISBN: 978.0.19.879184.3)

Work is widely thought to have become more precarious. Many people feel that unions represent the interests of protected workers in good jobs at the expense of workers with insecure employment, low pay, and less generous benefits. Reconstructing Solidarity: Labour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe argues the opposite: that unions try to represent precarious workers using a variety of creative campaigning and organizing tactics.

Where unions can limit employers’ ability to ‘exit’ labour market institutions and collective agreements, and build solidarity across different groups of workers, this results in a virtuous circle, establishing union control over the labour market. Where they fail to do so, it sets in motion a vicious circle of expanding precarity based on institutional evasion by employers. Ieconstructing Solidarity examines how unions build, or fail to build, inclusive worker solidarity to challenge this vicious circle and to re-regulate increasingly precarious jobs. Comparative case studies from fourteen European countries describe the struggles of workers and unions in industries such as local government, retail, music, metalworking, chemicals, meat packing, and logistics. Their findings argue against the thesis that unions act primarily to protect labour market insiders at the expense of outsiders.


2017

Trade Unions and Migrant Workers. New Contexts and Challenges in Europe

Stefania Marino (WEI-University of Manchester), Judith Roosblad (Inspectorate of Social Affairs and Employment, the Netherlands), Rinus Penninx (University of Amsterdam) (Eds.)

Edward Elger/ILERA, 424 p. (ISBN: 978.9.22.130433.3)

This volume constitutes an extensive update of a previous comparative analysis – published by Rinus Penninx and Judith Roosblad in 2000 – that has become an important reference in the field. The book offers an overview of how trade unions manage issues of inclusion and solidarity in the current economic and political context, characterized by increasing challenges for labour organizations and rising hostility towards migrants.

he qualitative analysis of trade union strategies towards immigration and migrant workers is based on a common analytical framework centred on the idea of ‘dilemmas’ that trade unions have to face when dealing with immigration and migrant workers. This approach facilitates comparative analysis and distinguishes patterns of union policies and actions across three groups of countries, identifying some explanations for observed similarities and differences. In addition, the book also includes theoretical chapters by expert scholars from a range of disciplinary fields including industrial relations, migration studies and political economy.

Download the first chapter [Open access]


2017

Informal Workers and Collective Action. A Global Perspective

Adrienne Eaton (SMLR-Rutgers University), Susan J. Schurman (SMLR-Rutgers University), Martha A. Chen (Harvard Kennedy School) (Eds.)

Cornell University Press, 296 p. (ISBN: 978.1.50.170557.1)

Informal Workers and Collective Action features nine cases of collective action to improve the status and working conditions of informal workers. Adrienne E. Eaton, Susan J. Schurman, and Martha A. Chen set the stage by defining informal work and describing the types of organizations that represent the interests of informal workers and the lessons that may be learned from the examples presented in the book. Cases from a diverse set of countries—Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Liberia, South Africa, Tunisia, and Uruguay—focus on two broad types of informal workers: “waged” workers, including port workers, beer promoters, hospitality and retail workers, domestic workers, low-skilled public sector workers, and construction workers; and self-employed workers, including street vendors, waste recyclers, and minibus drivers. These cases demonstrate that workers and labor organizations around the world are rediscovering the lessons of early labor organizers on how to aggregate individuals’ sense of injustice into forms of collective action that achieve a level of power that can yield important changes in their work and lives. Informal Workers and Collective Action makes a strong argument that informal workers, their organizations, and their campaigns represent the leading edge of the most significant change in the global labor movement in more than a century

Download the first chapter [Open access]


2017

Firms as Political Entities. Saving Democracy through Economic Bicameralism

Isabelle Ferreras (TED-CriDIS-UCLouvain)

Cambridge University Press, 226 p. (ISBN: 978.1.10.823549.5)

When people go to work, they cease to be citizens. At their desks they are transformed into employees, subordinate to the hierarchy of the workplace. The degree of their sense of voicelessness may vary from employer to employer, but it is real and growing, inflamed by populist propaganda that ridicules democracy as weak and ineffective amid global capitalism. At the same time, corporations continue untouched and even unremarked as a major source of the problem. Relying on ‘economic bicameralism’ to consider firms as political entities, this book sheds new light on the institutions of industrial relations that have marked the twentieth century, and argues that it is time to recognize that firms are a peculiar institution that must be properly organized in order to unshackle workers’ motivation and creativity, and begin nurturing democracy again. For more information, please visit the accompanying website.


2017

La responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise, vecteur d’un droit de la mondialisation ?

Isabelle Daugareilh (COMPTRASEC-Université de Bordeaux) (Ed.)

Bruylant, 570 p. (ISBN: 978.2.39.013138.0)

[Book in French] Cet ouvrage propose, à partir d’études de terrain et de monographies, une analyse critique pluridisciplinaire, comparative et internationale de l’autorégulation de la globalisation de l’économie au nom de la RSE. Il défend l’idée que les Accords-cadres internationaux sont des normes établissant les règles du jeu d’une gouvernance mondiale au sein des entreprises transnationales, qu’ils sont, par leur enrichissement continu, l’esquisse d’un système de relations professionnelles globalisé. L’ouvrage met en évidence les failles et les limites des systèmes d’inspections privées mis en place par les entreprises transnationales. Il s’appuie sur la théorie de la capture et de la contre-capture pour mettre en perspective la tendance récente à légaliser des notions et des techniques nées ou portées par la RSE.


Partant de l’hypothèse d’une juridiscisation de la RSE, les auteurs démontrent que la RSE est bien le véhicule/vecteur d’un droit de la globalisation de l’économie qui se construit avec des acteurs multiples, sur des espaces encastrés, sur la base de droits et de valeurs consacrés au plan international et selon un mode de corégulation mais aussi sans doute de co-évaluation.


2017

Unions and the City. Negotiating Urban Change

Ian MacDonald (Université de Montréal) (Ed.)

Cornell University Press, 260 p. (ISBN: 978.1.50.170682.0)

Labor unions remain the largest membership-based organizations in major North American cities, even after years of decline. Labor continues to play a vital role in mobilizing urban residents, shaping urban conflict, and crafting the policies and regulations that are transforming our urban spaces. As unions become more involved in the daily life of the city, they find themselves confronting the familiar dilemma of how to fold union priorities into broader campaigns that address nonunion workers and the lives of union members beyond the workplace. If we are right to believe that the future of the labor movement is an urban one, union activists and staffers, urban policymakers, elected officials, and members of the public alike will require a fuller understanding of what impels unions to become involved in urban policy issues, what dilemmas structure the choices unions make, and what impact unions have on the lives of urban residents, beyond their members. Unions and the City serves as a road map toward both a stronger labor movement and a socially just urbanism. The book presents the findings of a collaborative project in which a team of labor researchers and labor geographers based in New York City and Toronto investigated how and why labor unions were becoming more involved in urban regulation and urban planning. The contributors assess the effectiveness of this involvement in terms of labor goals—such as protecting employment levels, retaining bargaining relationships with employers, and organizing new workforces—as well as broader social consequences of union strategies, such as expanding access to public services, improving employment equity, and making neighborhoods more affordable. Focusing on four key economic sectors (film, hospitality, green energy, and child care), this book reveals that unions can exert a surprising level of influence in various aspects of urban policymaking and that they can have a significant impact on how cities are changing and on the experiences of urban residents.


2017

Women, Labor Segmentation and Regulation. Varieties of Gender Gaps

David Peetz (WOW-Griffith University), Georgina Murray (WOW-Griffith University) (Eds.)

Palgrave Macmillan, 271 p. (ISBN: 978.1.137.55495.6)

This book re-shapes thinking on ‘gender gaps’—differences between men and women in their incomes, their employment and their conditions of work. It shows how the interaction between regulation distance and content, labor segmentation and norms helps us understand various aspects of gender gaps.  

It brings together leading authors from industrial relations, sociology, politics, and feminist economics, who outline the roles the family, state public policy, trade unions and class play in creating gender gaps, and consider the lessons from international comparisons.  While many studies have focused on the role of society or organizations, this book also pays attention to the role of occupations in promoting and reinforcing gender gaps, discussing groups such as apparel outworkers, film and video workers, care workers, public-sector professionals like librarians, chief executives, academics, and coal miners.

This book will be of interest to practitioners, policy makers, academics and students interested in understanding why inequality between men and women persists today—and what might be done about it.