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Reconstructing SolidarityLabour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe$
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Virginia Doellgast, Nathan Lillie, and Valeria Pulignano

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791843

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791843.001.0001

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Union Campaigns against Precarious Work in the Retail Sector of Estonia, Poland, and Slovenia

Union Campaigns against Precarious Work in the Retail Sector of Estonia, Poland, and Slovenia

Chapter:
(p.144) 7 Union Campaigns against Precarious Work in the Retail Sector of Estonia, Poland, and Slovenia
Source:
Reconstructing Solidarity
Author(s):

Adam Mrozowicki

Branko Bembič

Kairit Kall

Małgorzata Maciejewska

Miroslav Stanojević

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198791843.003.0007

This chapter studies trade union responses to the precarization of work in the retail sector in three post-socialist East European countries: Estonia, Poland, and Slovenia. The aim of the chapter is to analyse the influence of sectoral specifics, different institutional factors, and trade unions’ power resources on union approaches towards precarious work, and to explore the potential for new patterns of solidarity. The main thrust of the argument is that unions’ power is crucial for developing and sustaining the industrial relations institutions, which in turn shape constraints and opportunities for trade unions’ actions. However, the strategic choices exerted by trade union leaders also matter. While higher institutional and associational power still enables Slovene unions to regulate the conditions of precarious workers to a certain extent, the institutional weakness of Estonian and Polish unions make them increasingly reliant on their network embeddedness and narrative resources to mobilize against precarization.

Keywords:   industrial relations institutions, union power resources, retail sector, precarious work, agency, Estonia, Poland, Slovenia

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