Economic Crises, Labour Movements and Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Hörsaal 31 (Main Building)
RC44 Labor Movements (host committee)

Language: English

Despite neoliberal transformations and cyclic economic crises in the last two decades, the intensity and scope of trade union mobilization and protests in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have been rather limited. This was explained by the socialist legacies, structural labour weakness and the expansion of market-liberal workers’ subjectivities. Unsurprisingly, collective bargaining solutions to the consequences of the 2007+ global economic crisis have also been rare. Due to the weakness of social dialogue institutions, trade unions have tended to resort to unilateral strategies against austerity measures, involving organising, street protests and public campaigns targeting the issues of precarious jobs. In many countries, we have also observed collective mobilisation beyond traditionally understood employment relations in which the opposition against neoliberalism was framed in nationalistic terms. Simultaneously, the “exit” strategies through migration abroad have continued. 
The goal of this session is to discuss the variety of workers’ individual and collective responses to the consequences of the 2007+ economic crisis. Can we observe the “disenchantment of market” in Eastern Europe? What are the relationships between labour movements and other social movements of protest? Were trade unions able to meet new challenges, such as the rise of new forms of precarious work, the decomposition of social dialogue institutions, mass migration abroad and the rise of nationalist movements? 
We invite paper proposals which explore the sources, mechanisms and consequences of the emergent forms of workers’ resistance against neoliberalism in CEE countries. The papers presenting the results of comparative research are particularly welcome.
Session Organizers:
Adam MROZOWICKI, University of Wroclaw, Poland and Mateusz KAROLAK, University of Wroclaw, Poland
Adam MROZOWICKI, University of Wroclaw, Poland
Trade Unions and Precarious Employment in Eastern Europe
Aurora TRIF, Dublin City University Business School, DCU, Ireland; Marta KAHANCOVA, Central European Labour Studies Institute, Slovakia; Aristea KOUKIADAKI, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Trade Unions in Central East and South East Europe – Modernization or Sink into Oblivion?
Jochen THOLEN, Institute Labour and Economy - University of Bremen, Germany
Unions in Post-Communist Albania: Problems of Organization and Solidarity in the Times Crisis
Sonila DANAJ, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland; Erka CARO, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland
From War Front to Home Front: The Role of Company-Based War Veterans' Organizations in Industrial Relations in Croatia
Dragan BAGIC, University of Zagreb, Croatia; Kruno KARDOV, University of Zagreb, Croatia
The Crisis of the Social Dialogue in Poland and Labor Unions' "Constitutional" Response
Karol MUSZYNSKI, Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Warsaw, Poland
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