Current Issue

VOLUME 35, ISSUE 3 - Spring 2014


Introduction to the Special Collection on The European Financial Crisis and National Labor and Employment Law Reforms

Social Reforms to Cope with the Financial Crisis in France
Yannick Pagnerre

European Economic Governance and the Labor Laws of the E.U. Member States
Achim Seifert

Flexibility Without Security and Deconstruction of Collective Bargaining: The New Paradigm of Labor Law in Greece
Matina Yannakourou and Chronis Tsimpoukis

Greece’s accession to the financial support mechanism of the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission in May 2010 led to severe austerity measures radically affecting the whole range of labor legislation. An intense legislative activity was manifest between 2010 and 2013, aiming at a labor cost reduction and a labor rights’ restriction. The purpose of this Article is to offer a critical overview of the most crucial reforms that have taken place in the Greek labor legislation after the Memoranda and to demonstrate how they affected the foundations, the sources, the principles and the functions of the Greek labor law. The Article attempts to demonstrate that the Greek example reveals the paradigm shift in labor law that gradually expands across the Europe, consisting into the replacement of the after war humanitarian labor law model with a neoliberal economic model of market supremacy over labor rights. The Article argues that this paradigm shift is in line with the new economic governance structure at European level laying on the neoliberal dogma of deregulation, liberalization, and removal of collective regulation constraints over employment relationship.

The Effect of the Global Crisis on the Labor Market: Report on Italy
Marco Biasi

Regressive Labor Legislation–The Magic Potion for All Crises: The Case of Portugal
António Monteiro Fernandes

Strengthening the Power of Dismissal in Recent Labor Reforms in Spain
José Luis Gil y Gil

Shifting Responsibility: How the Burden of the European Financial Crisis Shifted Away from the Financial Sector and Onto Labor
Shelley Marshall

 In light of the labor crisis that has unfolded in Europe with record level unemployment, growing precariousness of employment and increasing inequality, it would seem logical that measures be undertaken at national and international levels to ease the consequences of the crisis for workers. Governments have responded to such conditions the past by creating major social pacts with labor to bolster consumption and faith in the economic system. The U.S. New Deal came out of such a crisis. Yet instead of softening the burden of the crisis for labor, it has been amplified by most national labor law reform processes. This Article examines contrasting views about the causes of the 2007 U.S. financial crisis, and the 2009/10 European sovereign debt crisis. It presents data on the effects of the crisis on labor, showing that inequality has increased, although the wealth of the top quintile was reduced by financial market losses. Unemployment and informal work have also increased dramatically. It then briefly assesses alternatives to the labor law reforms that have been rolled out across Europe, focusing on financial re-regulation. It concludes by examining why these tools are not being employed by nation-states following the crisis, and why other measures have been preferred.

BOOK REVIEWS

North American Integration: An Institutional Void in Migration, Security and Development, edited by Gaspare M. Genna and David A. Mayer-Foulkes
reviewed by Tequila J. Brooks

Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing, by Jamie K. McCallum
reviewed by Susan Kang

The Role of International Social Security Standards: An in-Depth Study Through the Case of Greece, by Maria Korda
reviewed by Dimitrios Kremalis

Phone Clone: Authenticity Work in the Transnational Service Economy, by Kiran Mirchandani
reviewed by Smitha Radhakrishnan

Hazard or Hardship: Crafting Global Norms on the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work, by Jeffrey Hilgert
reviewed by Emily A. Spieler