Informations and abstract
Keywords: JEL Classifications: J51 - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects; F23 -Multinational Firms; International Business; J81 - Working Conditions.
This paper introduces the debate on the regulation of labour in advanced market democracies, and more specifically in the EU countries, under the present conditions of economic crisis and broader transformations of the capitalist system. Three issues are briefly discussed. First, the main causes of the decline of collective bargaining and trade union action are considered, linking them not only to the present crisis, but to profound transformations which already started three decades ago: globalization of product and capital markets, on one hand, and technological and organizational trends requiring greater flexibility for companies and affecting both the demand and supply of labour, on the other hand. Second, the issue of convergence/divergence of national systems of collective regulation of labour is examined in the light of recent developments. Third, the rather gloomy prospects for the collective regulation of labour in advanced market democracies are briefly discussed, stressing the importance of the role of public authorities to safeguard the role of industrial relations and collective bargaining not only as a method to regulate the employment relationship but also as an essential instrument for granting the rights of industrial citizenship.