Workshop Papers & Summaries

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Workshops 1


Workshop 1.1

The New Interface Between Constitutional and Collective Rights

Christian BRUNELLE (Université Laval, Canada)
Chartes des droits et codes du travail: deux solitudes ?

Bernard ADELL (Queen’s University, Canada)
Freedom of Expression: Making it Fit with Labour Relations Realities

Abstract

Freedom of expression is probably the only Charter-protected right that has had any significant concrete effect on labour and employment law. I will look at a few recent court and labour board decisions which have considered the effect of that Charter right in three areas: restrictions on picketing, restrictions on political strikes, and restrictions by public employers on what their employees can say on the job.


Marie-Josée LEGAULT (TÉLUQ/UQAM, Canada)
François RÉGIMBAL (University of Montreal, Canada)
François BOLDUC (University of Montreal, Canada)
Positions des cols bleus à l’endroit de la politique québécoise d’équité en emploi

Abstract

Peu interventionniste jusqu’aux années 80, la politique québécoise d’équité en emploi a acquis un volet interventionniste et proactif pendant les années 80. Ce volet consiste essentiellement en un dispositif permettant d’établir des objectifs quantitatifs de représentation de membres des quatre groupes cibles reconnus par la charte québécoise et son pendant canadien, la Loi canadienne sur les droits de la personne (LCDP). Pour atteindre ces objectifs cibles, l’employeur peut embaucher de préférence des membres des groupes cibles, « à compétence égale ». Bien que peu d’employeurs y soient contraints, l’intervention de l’État à ce chapitre a engendré controverse et résistance. Les régimes fondés sur de telles mesures ont entraîné des progrès certains pour les femmes, sauf dans les secteurs d’emploi de cols bleus, où leur représentation plafonne. Nous avons sondé au moyen d’entrevues en profondeur les positions de 47 cols bleus quant à l’égalité et quant à ces mesures, dites de redressement. Bien que favorables à l’égalité en emploi entre les sexes en général, les personnes interrogées témoignent d’une adhésion partagée à cette intervention. Cela laisse pendant le problème important de l’emploi des femmes qui ont un niveau de scolarité présecondaire ou secondaire. Les emplois traditionnellement féminins auxquels elles ont accès sont considérablement moins rémunérés et ont de beaucoup moins bonnes conditions de travail que les emplois traditionnellement masculins du même groupe. Pour les travailleurs de ce niveau de scolarité, l’écart entre les emplois féminins et masculins est énorme.

Paper



Workshop 1.2

Competitiveness and Regulatory Regimes

Jacques BÉLANGER (Université Laval, Canada)
Gilles TRUDEAU (University of Montreal, Canada)
Regulatory Frameworks and Economic Integration: The Quebec Context

David LEHRER (Education, Workforce, and Income Security/ U.S. Government Accountability Office, USA)
Sara SCHIBANOFF (Education, Workforce, and Income Security/ U.S. Government Accountability Office, USA)
Employee Compensation: Trends in Costs and Benefit Design in Employer-Sponsored Benefits in the United States

Abstract

The average cost of total employee compensation (comprising wages, pension and healthcare benefits) for U.S. employers grew by 12 percent between 1991 and 2005, but increases in benefit costs outpaced wages in the most recent years.  The increase in the cost of a total benefits package was largely comprised of increases in the cost of providing health insurance and retirement income. Paid leave had traditionally been the most costly benefit to employers, but by 2005, the cost of health insurance equaled that of paid leave. This occurred, in part, because health insurance costs grew by 28 percent since 1991 while the costs for paid leave grew by only 5 percent. Of the three benefits, retirement income was the least costly, even though it grew by an estimated 47 percent during the period (largely between 2003 and 2005.)

In large part, the increasing benefit costs have led to recent changes to employee health benefits.  Among employers that offer health benefits, many have changed plan design features or begun offering different types of health plans to control costs. For example, employers have shifted additional costs to employees in the form of increased deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance that employees must pay out-of -pocket, and some have introduced consumer directed health plans (CDHPs), which trade lower premiums for significantly higher deductibles. Also, some employers are beginning to offer mini-medical plans that provide limited coverage at low premiums.

With regard to retirement benefits in the U.S., worker participation rates in retirement plans remain constant, the trend of fewer employers offering defined benefit plans and more employers offering defined contribution plans continues, which affects the roles of both employers and workers in retirement planning. Recently passed legislation, such as the Pension Protection Act (PPA), amends existing pension law to allow employers and plan sponsors some additional flexibility and protections that may encourage additional employee participation.  The PPA provides additional regulatory clarity regarding cash balance plans, and provides some key fiduciary protections regarding plan features such as auto-enrollment, auto-escalation and investment advice.

The roles and responsibilities of employers and workers in financing health care and retirement income continue to evolve in an increasingly competitive global market. Experts have noted that rising benefit costs are challenging employers’ ability to offer health insurance, retirement income, and wage increases. As such, they noted that rising costs may force private employers and their employees to make trade-offs between wages and benefits.  Employers, employees, and policy makers share in the responsibility for finding long-term solutions for providing a U.S. benefits system that addresses the health and retirement needs of individuals of varying economic and health backgrounds, while allowing employers to remain competitive in a global market environment.

Papers

Report 1

Report 2


Ann FROST (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
Danielle van JAARSVELD (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Small Differences Matter: The Nearshoring of US Call Center Work to Canada

Abstract

The work done by call centers can be considered amongst the most mobile in the world.  With the flick of a switch, work once done in Boston, Massachussetts can be transferred seamlessly to Burnaby, B.C., or Bangalore, India. In general, this pattern in movement of work is from countries with high cost employment systems to countries with low cost ones. Although India receives much media attention for attracting customer service work from the US, during the 1990s, thousands of call center jobs came to Canada from the U.S. attracted by a 65 cent Canadian dollar, government provided health care, tax incentives, and other government enticements. 

This “nearshoring” of call center work however, is an interesting case for study by industrial relations scholars.  Whereas Canada is considered  a low cost site for call center work, it is also a more highly regulated economy than its neighbour to the south.Over the last few years, the appreciation of the Canadian dollar has all but wiped out the initial cost advantage. Yet, many nearshored jobs remain.

In this paper, we examine the nature of the employment system found in nearshored call centers – the forms of work organization, employee outcomes, and firm performance metrics. We argue that the institutional setting found in Canada has shaped call center employment and outcomes in particular ways – ways that benefit employers beyond simply offering lower cost, and provide stability for employees in these often unstable jobs.


Gregor MURRAY (University of Montreal, Canada),
Jacques BÉLANGER (Université Laval, Canada),
Patrice JALETTE (University of Montreal, Canada),
Christian LÉVESQUE (HEC Montreal, Canada)
Pierre-Antoine HARVEY (University of Montreal, Canada)
Multinational Firms and Institutional Environments: The Case of Multinational Firms in Canada

Abstract

Are “local” institutions merely constraints on firm performance or do they reinforce the role that national subsidiaries can play within their global firms? While highlighting the great variety of practice, this study of the Canadian operations of multinational companies (MNCs) supports the view of institutional enablement.

Indeed, two contrasting models emerge from this study of MNC operations in Canada. The first is that of the MNC primarily focused on the Canadian market. It does little or no R&D in its Canadian operations. Managers have less autonomy and are unlikely to be innovating in employment practices or exporting their practices elsewhere in their worldwide company. These MNCs are less likely to have substantial links with networks in Canada, particularly with educational institutions and on standards for corporate conduct. These firms are also more likely to be "hollowed out" since the absence of corporate intermediary structures limits the enablers for interactions with networks and institutions in Canada.

The contrast is with MNCs whose Canadian operations seek to penetrate international markets. They engage in R&D. Managers feel they have autonomy to develop HR and employment policies and are innovating, notably in partnerships with employees. The capacity to compete in global markets seems to make such innovations an essential pre-requisite and their innovations are picked up elsewhere in their worldwide operations. These firms report significant organizational capabilities in their Canadian operations and are making links with educational institutions, leveraging public policy resources and discussing standards for corporate conduct with the community. Such firms also have more significant intermediary structures in Canada that help with the interface with the institutional environment, which is more likely to be seen as an opportunity rather than a constraint. The paper concludes on the key policy issue of how to foster the development of this institutionally embedded model.

Report


Workshop 1.3

Vocational Training: What Roles for the State and Labour Market Partners?

Gerhard BOSCH (Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation, Université Duisburg-Essen, Allemagne)
Jean CHAREST (University of Montreal, Canada)
A Comparative Perspective on Vocational Training in Ten Countries: Systems, Innovations and Results

Abstract

The last decade has given rise to a strong public discourse in most highly industrialized economies about the importance of a skilled workforce as a key response to the competitive dynamic fostered by economic globalisation. The challenge for different training regimes is twofold: attracting young people into the vocational training system while continuing to train workers already in employment. Yet, on the whole, most countries and their training systems have failed to reach those goals with few exceptions like Germany and Denmark. How can we explain this contradiction? Why is vocational training seen to be an “old” institution? Why does vocational training not seem to be easily adapted to the realities of the 21st century? This presentation seeks to respond to these important questions. It does so through a research directed by Gerhard Bosch and Jean Charest with the collaboration of 15 academics about the vocational training systems in ten different countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, the United Kingdom and the USA.


Françoise Le DEIST (Toulouse Business School, France)
Jonathan WINTERTON (Toulouse Business School, France)
Trade Union Strategies for Developing Competence at Work: Experience from Eight European Countries

Abstract

This paper reports on research into trade union approaches to competence development in four of the ‘old’ EU member states (France, Germany, Sweden and the UK), three of the ‘new’ member states (Latvia, Malta and Slovenia) and one of the ‘candidate’ countries (Turkey). The countries chosen for study capture the diversity of European experience to facilitate an analysis of the extent to which trade union strategies for promoting competence development at work are influenced by national conceptions of competence, systems of vocational training and models of social dialogue. The work confirms that diversity in these three domains presents challenges both for developing coherent policies at EU level and for implementing consistent trade union actions locally. While such conceptual and institutional differences may limit the scope for transfer of good practice, EU initiatives like the European Credit Transfer System for VET, the European Qualifications Framework and the social partners’ Framework of Actions are promoting a degree of convergence, whilst offering opportunities for innovation based on diversity.

Paper



Michèle TALLARD (IRISES/CNRS/Université Paris-Dauphine, France)
Action publique et dynamique des dispositifs de formation professionnelle continue en France

Abstract

La communication proposée vise à étudier les transformations des modes d’action publique dans le champ de la formation professionnelle continue en France – qu’elle concerne les salariés ou l’insertion des jeunes sur le marché du travail. La formation professionnelle se donne à voir comme un objet de consensus par excellence et par là même elle a été depuis le début des années quatre-vingt un élément-clé de l’élaboration d’un certain nombre de compromis sociaux, souvent initiés par les pouvoirs publics et un élément majeur de l’action publique en matière d’emploi du fait des risques de licenciements massifs des actifs peu qualifiés dont les transformations de l’organisation du travail sont porteuses. Au cours de la dernière décennie, dans un contexte de mondialisation, de montée d’une gestion individualisée de la main d’œuvre axée sur l’évaluation des compétences acquises, la formation professionnelle devient la clef du maintien de l’« employabilité », dans une optique de « formation tout au long de la vie ».

L’objet principal de cette communication est donc d’étudier les transformations successives de cet enjeu qui se sont concrétisées dans des mutations des formes d’action publique et des configurations d’acteurs qui président à ces évolutions. Une analyse documentaire nationale et européenne, des entretiens avec des acteurs de l’administration et des acteurs sociaux à ces différents niveaux et des enquêtes menées dans une dizaine de branches professionnelles ainsi qu’une synthèse de multiples travaux menées sur les transformations de la formation professionnelle dans les trente dernières années, permettent de caractériser la genèse des dispositifs de régulation, la part respective de l’Etat et des acteurs sociaux dans leur mode d’élaboration ainsi que les modes d’appropriation par ces derniers de ces dispositifs. Enfin, l’analyse de l’évolution de l’articulation entre différents niveaux de régulation ouvre la possibilité de s’interroger notamment sur les déstabilisations des régulations forgées dans l’espace national engendrées par l’émergence d’acteurs et de formes de régulation à d’autres échelles territoriales qu’elles soient régionales ou européennes et par là sur la mutation des processus d’encadrement collectif de la relation salariale.

Paper



Dean STROUD (Cardiff University, United-Kingdom)
Peter FAIRBROTHER (Cardiff University, United-Kingdom)
Training and Workforce Transformation in the European Steel Industry: Questions for Public Policy

Abstract

The European steel industry has undergone a significant transformation over the last few decades, and processes of restructuring continue. Steel workforces are being recomposed in decisive ways, beginning to move away from predominantly male workers, with few formal qualifications and skilled by work experience. Increasingly, recruitment strategies focus on the recruitment of a more diverse range of highly qualified people, and movement through the occupational hierarchy is increasingly based on merit and qualifications. One implication of these developments is that questions arise about skills formation and employability.

European Union policies on work organisation and employment in the steel industry both set the scene for the reconfiguration of workforces as well as point to flaws in addressing these changes. Two sets of policies are relevant here, those directed at work organisation and employment relations and those concerned with vocational education and training (VET). Steel employer strategies increasingly rest on promoting a re-composition of the steel workforce around minimally qualified operators and a younger, qualified replacement class, supported by qualified auxiliary staff in marketing, commercial relations, human resource management and the like. In this context, unions have underwritten these trends and developments by failing to embrace comprehensive and alternative learning and training strategies, which begin with the interests of staff, rather than those of the employer.  The outcome is a fragmented workforce and an increasingly vulnerable workforce.

There are two sides to the analysis. First we argue that the steel workforce is being recomposed in the context of an EU driven strategy to achieve partially contradictory aims: a flexible but diverse steel workforce. While this restructuring takes place within changing patterns of ownership, deregulation, technological innovation and the reorganisation of production chains, these public policy initiatives on work and employment shape the pattern of restructuring under way. Second, and following on from the first point, we argue that the restructuring in process rests on particular assumptions about training and learning, whereby progressive learning strategies are promoted for young, formally qualified workers, while the rest suffice with regressive practices. For the latter group, paradoxically, this means that they are left in a vulnerable position, with little prospect of skills enhancement or long-term employability in the industry.


Workshop 1.4

Faces of Labour Market Inclusion & Exclusion

Ron SAUNDERS (Canadian Policy Research Networks, Canada)
Pathways for Youth to the Labour Market

Abstract

About a year ago, CPRN launched a multi-part research project with the aim of identifying policies and practices to enable more young Canadians to find pathways that lead to sustained employment with decent pay, good working conditions and career potential. The project is looking at the paths that young people take from high school through to regular participation in the labour market; institutional and policy structures that affect people’s ability to find pathways that lead to sustained, high quality employment; and attitudes and underlying values about different pathways. This presentation will review the results of research to date on the Pathways project.


Aine LEADBETTER (McMaster University, Canada)
Charlotte YATES (McMaster University, Canada)
Solving Rural Labour Shortages in Ontario through Immigration: Policy Developments and Implications

Abstract

Over the last decade, rural areas of Ontario have attracted growing levels of industrial capital investment, in large part because of the understanding that there is a ready supply of hard-working farm labour looking for work at a ‘reasonable’ wage. Yet, labour shortages in rural areas are becoming an increasing challenge, especially for those employers whose wages are not at the top of the regional wage scale. Whereas agricultural employers have long solved their labour shortage by hiring migrant workers, this has not been a widespread practice outside of agriculture. This paper maps out how employers in our case study have struggled to address the labour shortage issue, developing recruitment strategies aimed especially at immigrant or migrant communities, older workers (especially older women with limited retirement income), women more generally and high school drop-outs. After examining employer recruitment strategies, the paper turns its attention to the ways in which government policies have impacted on these recruitment strategies and their relative success, concluding with a discussion of the possibilities of and limits to policy solutions to the labour shortage in rural areas. 


Brigitte VOYER (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)
Savoir, compétence et formation continue des professionnels en situation d’intermittence en emploi : quelques enjeux pour les politiques publiques de formation

Abstract

L’augmentation de l’emploi atypique favorise les situations d’intermittence en emploi. En vue de mieux comprendre comment l’intermittence en emploi influence le rapport individuel au travail, nous nous intéressons au développement identitaire des professionnels et plus particulièrement au rôle du savoir, de la compétence et de la formation continue dans ce processus. Notre communication traite des parcours d’emploi et des parcours de formation de 50 professionnels oeuvrant dans divers domaines occupationnels et qui ont été analysés dans leurs aspects objectifs et subjectifs. Elle s’appuie également sur une dizaine de récits professionnels soumis à des études de cas effectuées selon une approche interprétative et dans une perspective exploratoire. Aussi, nous observons que le savoir des professionnels en situation d’intermittence sert d’assise pour se définir, se distinguer d’autrui et se positionner stratégiquement sur le marché du travail. En soulignant que la polyvalence participe à la structuration de l’identité de la plupart de ces professionnels, nous relevons que la nature des savoirs valorisés et les modes d’appropriation de formation privilégiés diffèrent selon les perspectives professionnelles individuelles. Cet éclairage sur les trajectoires d’emploi intermittentes nous permet de relever quelques enjeux pour la formation continue des professionnels et de proposer des repères en vue de nourrir la réflexion nécessaire au renouvellement des politiques publiques de formation.


Workshop 1.5

The Odyssey of Collective Representation : What Kinds of Unionism for the New Economy?

Larry HAIVEN (St-Mary’s University, Canada)
Interest Representation Among Self-Employed Artists:  The Case of Unions and Copyright Collectives

Abstract

For that portion of their income that comes from their creative production, most artists are self-employed. As such, they have ownership rights to and financial claims on the use by others of their creative output. These rights are enshrined in the notion of copyright and in the copyright laws of the countries where their output is used.

In recent years, globalization and the rapid development of new digital technologies and dissemination techniques have played havoc with the regulation of intellectual property rights. Copyright laws are being re-written. New digital media are more ephemeral than old media, making it more difficult to trace and capture i.p. proceeds. Globalization has weakened the ability of states to regulate copyright claims and the power “facts on the ground” have given the strong players even more clout internationally than they had intranationally. Yet, at the same time, the changes have given rise to even stronger cross-national links among artists’ unions. With special attention to the film and video industry, this paper traces the current turmoil in the intellectual property regulation regime and suggests public policy responses in the interests of the workers in the field.

Paper



Urwana COIQUAUD (HEC Montreal, Canada)
La syndicalisation des travailleurs non salariés : une course d'obstacles

Abstract

L’objectif de cette communication consiste à examiner le rôle de la loi dans l’accès à la syndicalisation de certains travailleurs non salariés. À partir de l’analyse de trois situations canadiennes de travail dites vulnérables, on verra comment la loi ordinaire joue un rôle moteur dans cette exclusion. Ultimement, il s’agira de considérer l’ensemble des moyens traditionnels ou non, offerts sur la scène nationale et internationale, qui permettent d’assurer l’accès à la syndicalisation et d’encourager une protection efficace à ces travailleurs vulnérables.


Catherine Le CAPITAINE (Université Laval, Canada)
Nouvelles identités professionnelles et syndicalisme : le cas du secteur financier au Québec

Abstract

Le discours est bien connu : l’action syndicale est actuellement fragilisée. L’une des difficultés accrues des syndicats réside en une population active plus différenciée. La main-d’oeuvre professionnelle et qualifiée est valorisée par les entreprises de la société du savoir ; les moins aptes y sont exclus. Peu d’intérêt est accordé à la syndicalisation des professionnels, cette main-d’oeuvre au cœur même de la nouvelle économie, se basant sur les croyances que ce type d’employé qualifié ne recherche pas l’opportunité du syndicalisme. Les efforts de renouveau entrepris jusqu’à présent par les syndicats se tournent principalement vers la main-d’œuvre plus démunie. Aborder le futur du syndicalisme par les nouvelles identités professionnelles nous semble également une avenue à considérer. En s’insérant dans ces débats sur l’avenir des mouvements syndicaux, cette présentation s’attarde particulièrement sur l’étude des identités syndicales des femmes professionnelles dans les services financiers, un secteur emblématique de la nouvelle économie.


Charles HECKSCHER (Rutgers University, USA)
Unions: From Countervailing Powers to Network Intermediaries

Abstract

Industrial unions have been based essentially on a notion of countervailing power – building large organizations that can match the power of large, centralized firms. But as firms have increasingly reduced their emphasis on vertical integration in favor of disaggregated value chains, loosening their long-term ties to their workers, unions have found themselves structurally at a loss. At the same time, institutions that serve as intermediaries for independent workers, performing many of the functions formerly the province of corporate Personnel Management, have grown rapidly. The question is whether these intermediary institutions can be developed as a model for employment security through the aggregation of independent workers.



Workshops 2


Workshop 2.1

Restructuring and Offshoring : Overview and Contrasting Public Policy Approaches

Marie-Ange MOREAU (European University Institute, Italy)
Philippe POCHET (Observatoire social européen, Belgium)
Les nouveaux défis liés aux restructurations : mise en perspective de la spécificité européenne

Philippe POCHET (Observatoire social européen, Belgium)
Marie-Ange MOREAU (European University Institute, Italy)
Les nouveaux défis liés aux restructurations : l’anticipation comme principe d’élaboration des politiques

Abstract

Le caractère récurrent voir permanent des transformations des entreprises par des processus de réorganisation est actuellement admis par une partie de plus en plus importante de la doctrine qui cherche à analyser les restructurations d’entreprises dans l’Union européenne (Fayolle, 2006, projet Mire 2006, Bethoux, 2007, Desgremont 2004). Si les économistes, les gestionnaires, les sociologues et les juristes s’accordent pour identifier des formes différentes de restructurations comme les fusions, les concentrations les externalisations d’activités, les sous-traitance nationales ou internationales, les cessions, les transferts, les délocalisations les réorganisations multiples répondant à des causes tant externes qu’internes, ils ne s’accordent pas sur les définitions ni sur les explications des processus. Les restructurations s’avèrent être des processus complexes et protéiformes qui entraînent de profond changements économiques et sociaux et correspondent aux nouvelles formes de capitalisme et aux symptômes de la globalisation.

En tant que « symptôme » protéiforme (Moreau 2005), les restructurations ne peuvent être analysées qu’à la lumière des transformation profondes de l’économie européenne car elles sont une traduction directe des stratégies des firmes sur le marché européen. Il ne convient donc plus d’analyser les restructurations dans un cadre local défini mais de replacer ces transformations continuelles et de plus en plus permanentes dans un cadre plus large : celui des choix opérés par des entreprises dans les différents pays de l’Union et en dehors de l’Union au niveau mondial ainsi que des choix opérés en fonction de la recomposition des enjeux économiques sur les marchés nationaux.

Sur le plan de l’analyse, le premier défi qui se pose est donc celui d’une compréhension des processus de restructurations qui passent nécessairement par l’observation des restructurations. Le second tient à une identification du rôle qui peut être celui de l’Union européenne en tant que niveau politique et niveau juridique de régulation. Le troisième tient à la détermination des choix qui peuvent être proposés au niveau européen pour permettre l’articulation des niveaux de régulation dans la dynamique spécifique de l’interaction entre le niveau local et le niveau global. Cette interaction suppose que soit comprise les synergies qui existent entre les acteurs aussi bien au niveau du site restructuré qu’au niveau de l’entreprise et du/des territoire impliqués dans la restructuration.

Ces trois défis sont au cœur du projet AgirE, financé par le FSE. Ces deux communications intègrent partiellement des résultats fournis dans le cadre du projet mais ne reflètent pour l’instant que l’analyse des auteurs.

Presentation notes



Linda ROULEAU (HEC Montreal, Canada)
Patrice JALETTE (University of Montreal, Canada)
Les restructurations organisationnelles: un aperçu de la situation canadienne

Abstract

Les restructurations organisationnelles s’inscrivent dans une suite de transformations profondes qui se produisent à différents niveaux : déclin de l’industrie dans laquelle elle se trouve,  passage de l’économie canadienne de la fabrication vers l’économie du savoir, libéralisation des échanges et mise en place d’une nouvelle division internationale du travail. Il s’agit d’un phénomène complexe que l’on arrive encore difficilement à cerner. L’objectif de cette présentation a pour but de mieux comprendre en quoi consistent les restructurations organisationnelles afin d’avoir une meilleure idée de l’ampleur du phénomène au Canada. Elle pose un regard croisé sur les restructurations en examinant le phénomène à la fois sur le plan de l’entreprise à partir de données qualitatives et sur le plan économique en nous basant sur des données quantitatives.


Michel COUTU (University of Montreal, Canada)
Licenciements collectifs et fermetures d'entreprise au Québec: un cas d’absentéisme juridique ?

Abstract

Cette étude considère le phénomène des licenciements collectifs et fermetures d’entreprise au Québec.  L’auteur énumère d’abord un certain nombre de caractéristiques spécifiques du système québécois des rapports collectifs de travail. Bien qu’influencé au point de départ par le modèle états-unien (à commencer par le Wagner Act), la négociation collective témoigne au Québec de spécificités importantes par rapport au contexte général prévalant en Amérique du Nord, telles, par exemple, un taux élevé de syndicalisation et une tradition beaucoup plus forte d’interventionnisme étatique. Cela dit, le contexte de mondialisation économique pousse néanmoins le système québécois des relations industrielles dans le sens d’une évolution rapide vers une flexibilité et une « libéralisation » accrues. Rien n’illustre davantage ce mouvement que le sort des travailleurs victimes des licenciements collectifs et fermetures d’entreprise. L’auteur décrit alors le droit relatif aux licenciements collectifs en vigueur au Québec, tant au niveau provincial que fédéral, pour analyser ensuite un cas spécifique, celui de la multinationale Wal-Mart : celle-ci a en effet procédé à la fermeture d’un de ses établissements, tout simplement pour décourager la syndicalisation de ses salariés. Le cas Wal-Mart illustre de manière exemplaire, soutient l’auteur, les failles du droit des licenciements collectifs au Québec, dans son état actuel.  Les stratégies et imbroglios juridiques recensés dans la jurisprudence récente (celle de la Commission des relations du travail du Québec en particulier) sont ensuite passés en revue, pour renforcer cette analyse portant sur le caractère lacunaire du droit québécois. L’auteur complète son exposé en examinant de manière critique, en tenant compte par exemple de prises de position récentes –dont celle de la Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (FTQ)-, de quelles manières le droit québécois, en contexte nord-américain, pourrait resserrer ses exigences, de manière à offrir une protection autre que symbolique aux salariés visés, tout en clarifiant les règles du jeu économique pour les entreprises concernées par les restructurations.


Workshop 2.2

The Fall and Rise of the Wagner Model in the US?

Kate BRONFENBRENNER (Cornell University, USA)
US Labor Movement and Labor Law Reform in 2007: Myths, Challenges, and Possibilities

David JACOBS (Morgan State University, USA)
Precedents and Prospects for State and Province-based Approaches to Advancing Worker Representation and Security in an Era of Globalization

Abstract

The federal systems in the United States and Canada have historically provided some limited space for experimentation in labor and employment policy. Economist Richard Freeman (2006) has provocatively suggested that US labor policy be returned fully to the states so that new pro-worker approaches might be implemented. He contends that the Wagner Act framework has so failed workers that state policies however varied would likely be better.

State-based reform faces difficult challenges. In the US, federal law may preempt state action. Second, mobile employers tend to punish states or provinces which favor workers with new rights and protections. Third, global trade rules privilege the rights of capital.

I propose to examine the work of movements and organizations that are testing the limits of state-based activism. What possibilities remain for state and provincial governments to address workers’ concerns for representation and enhanced security?

Paper



Workshop 2.3

The Arthurs Report: A New Direction for Labour Policy

Chair : Gilles TRUDEAU (University of Montreal, Canada)

Bernard ADELL (Queen’s University, Canada)
Jean BERNIER (Université Laval, Canada)

Paper (in French)


Judy FUDGE (University of Victoria, Canada)
Brian LANGILLE (University of Toronto, Canada)

Comments : Harry ARTHURS (York University, Canada)

Report


Workshop 2.4

Women and Men in Work and Family Life: What Role for Public Policy?

Francine A. MOCCIO (Cornell University, USA)
The New Paradigm: Women, Men, Work and Public Policy

Abstract

This paper presents the outcomes of a five year project funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations on transforming feminist ideals and practices into addressing societal priorities through public policy and reforming workplace practices for working women and their families.  The project was co-directed by Betty Friedan, the renown author of The Feminist Mystique which ignited the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s, and Francine Moccio, Director of the Institute for Women and Work at Cornell’s ILR School.  From opposing viewpoints, this national and international four year project addressed the emerging trends of a rapidly changing American workplace and its transformative effect on the quality of working women’s jobs and lives.  The project attempted to maintain a healthy skepticism and an interdisciplinary analysis of today’s debates on such euphemistic yet culturally loaded definitions of family life, family values and work/life balance.  Over the course of the project, an overlapping concern emerged for transforming old identities, based on social movements for equality from the 1960s and 1970s, into new thinking, rhetoric and strategies that transcend status quo identity politics.  By identifying emerging trends in the workplace and economy, sessions focused on the formation of today’s conventional wisdom and definitions of such institutions as family and the relation of the sexes to the labor market.  In particular, these changes were viewed within the context of an emerging new managerial enterprise culture adapted onto the world stage by globalization.  This paper summarizes these New Paradigm discussions into three distinct themes:  theme 1 discusses “Negotiating the social contract: winners and losers in the new economy; theme 2 focuses on “braving the new world of work and family life: economic and cultural implications for a globalized workforce;” and theme 3 focuses on a “comparative view of EU workplace practices and public policies as compared with the U.S. on women’s integration into the labor market.” Theme 3 also reports on the results of a recently held international conference on comparative work/life issues in the U.S., EU and Eastern Europe at Bellagio, Italy, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.  Together, all three themes provide a broad background for comparative insights into the new economy in the U.S., and Europe and the integration of jobs, home and society.  These themes also bring a critical interdisciplinary perspective to bear on identifying newly emerging contradictions and challenges for achieving social equality in a rapidly changing economy and restructured workplace.   

Paper



Diane-Gabrielle TREMBLAY (TÉLUQ/UQAM, Canada) 
Family Policies and Labour Market Participation : The Situation in Quebec and Canada

Abstract

Our paper examines the impact of family policies and work-family balance measures in Canada and Quebec on gender equality in the labour market and the family. Thus, we will first set out a few typologies of family policies, in particular that of Hantrais and Letablier (1996). Second, we will present a history of Canadian and Quebec policies regarding parental leave and childcare services while attempting to situate them in relation to this typology. It will be seen that recent developments and the change of federal government in early 2006 have made it difficult to classify Canada and Quebec in the same category, contrary to what might be expected.Third, we will make use of available Canadian data on use of parental leave which show that the majority of users are still women, despite increasing participation on the part of fathers in childcare, and in play and educational activities. Although in Canada, the extension of parental leave to one year in 2001 was viewed by some as constituting considerable progress in terms of employment equality, this policy could very well further reinforce the role of mothers without having a strong influence on the participation of fathers and thus rather negatively affect the goal of professional equality. In Quebec, reduced-contribution childcare services were considered as significant progress ($5 a day at the beginning and $7 a day since 2003, versus approximately $30 a day before government funding was introduced). Also, the Conservative Party at the Canadian level has proposed a “cash for care” style of program, which gives families $1200 per year for each child under 6. Recent federal policy orientations attest to a vision which differs greatly from Quebec’s family policy goals and it is argued here that English Canada and the Conservative Party are pursuing a conservative or laissez-faire doctrine (based on Hantrais and Letablier’s typology), whereas the Liberal Party tends to follow a policy aimed at alternating between work and family which is also a rather conservative position. On the other hand, Quebec, which has previously adhered to a policy of work-family balance, involving the combination of work and family and parental responsibilities, could shift towards a greater degree of conservatism or alternating between work and family. However, in the case of Quebec, the situation is somewhat ambiguous because in January 2006, Quebec established a new parental leave plan on its territory, thus implementing a different policy from that of Canada, that is, leave is more flexible (either a shorter leave with a higher income replacement rate or a longer leave with a lower income replacement rate) and three weeks over the entire leave period of almost one year are reserved for fathers.

Paper



Luc CLOUTIER (Institut de la statistique du Québec, Canada)
L'effet des politiques publiques pour le travail sur la qualité de l'emploi selon le sexe : quelle lecture récente peut-on faire au Québec?

Abstract

Depuis les 10 ou 15 dernières années, on assiste à des changements importants dans les politiques et programmes publics relatifs au travail et à l’emploi au Québec. Plus précisément, on pense à l’équité salariale et à l’accès à l’égalité en emploi, aux services de garde de la petite enfance, à la durée normale du travail ainsi qu’à la sous-traitance. Ces changements, notamment, ont eu des impacts sur la qualité de l’emploi occupé, en particulier chez les femmes. Utilisant certains indicateurs liés à la qualité de l’emploi (voir par exemple Centre d’études de l’emploi, 2006), cette communication vise à faire une lecture de l’effet sur l’emploi de certaines politiques publiques pour le travail au Québec. En raison de la féminisation accrue du marché du travail québécois, l’analyse différenciée selon le sexe constitue l’axe de réflexion.

Powerpoint Presentation


Peter BERG (Michigan State University, USA)
Addressing Tensions in Work-Family Balance in the United States and Australia: A Comparison of Public Policy Approaches

Abstract

In both the U.S. and Australia, the employment experience is undergoing great change. The global marketplace has increased competition among workers in both the industry and service sectors. More women are entering the labor force to maintain household income. New ways of working have changed skill requirements and increased the need for lifelong learning. Patterns of work hours have changed, becoming more irregular and in some occupations increasing dramatically.

In the context of this changing employment experience, I will focus in this presentation on five forces that are contributing to tensions in work-family balance and compare the public policy approaches of the United States and Australia. The five tensions include heath care, dual earner couples, child rearing costs and demands, working time, and workplace practices. The United States has relatively weak policy supports addressing work-family balance. Australia has had stronger policy supports enhanced through its award system of industrial relations. However, recent legislation overhauling industrial relations in Australia has weakened these supports.


Workshop 2.5

Can Public Policy Drive Workplace Innovation?

Oscar F. CONTRERAS (El Colegio de Sonora, Mexico)
Jorge CARRILLO (El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico)
Jaime OLEA (Universidad de Sonora, Mexico)
Managing Health and Safety in Small- and Medium-Sized Firms in the Maquiladoras : The Role of Mexican Public Policy

Abstract

The export maquila plants in Mexico have experienced a continuous process of restructuring from the last two decades. The maquilas have adopted new forms of productive organization, new technologies and reoriented their strategies in order to achieve higher levels of quality and flexibility in the context of unstable market conditions.

Recently, the recognition of fare trade, as a labor best practice for Multinationals in developing nations, has outlined the necessity to incorporate basic parameters that assure the incorporation of industrial safety standards, in particular the necessity of a certification that guarantees systems for the security and the health (i.e. ISO 18000; OHSAS-18000; BS-18000).  These standards are part of the requirements to upgrade the international competitiveness. 

The general goal of this research is to identify administration models and success practices in order to prevent accidents and work illnesses in the small and medium export maquila plants. We analyses three economic activities: plastics, metal mechanics and textiles. The specific objectives are: a) to establish a diagnosis of the administration models and success practices; b) to develop models and practices appropriate to the size and financial conditions and c) to identified strategies and promotion mechanisms to support business organizations that represent the maquilas. The paper is structured in five sections: the debate on maquila and work safety; a brief presentation of the three industries; general characteristics of the plants; plant performance & work safety, and finally, models of administration for industrial safety.

Paper



Tod RUTHERFORD (Syracuse University, USA)
John HOLMES (Queen’s University, Canada)
Public Policy, Employee Voice and Innovation: The Case of the Canadian Auto Industry

Abstract

Recently, the institutional and industrial relations  literature  has  emphasized public policy measures –especially at the national scale, to support worker voice or encourage union-management partnerships, to enhance workplace innovation. Thus the Varieties of Capitalism perspective for example, sees strong complementarities between  national industrial relations policies of  supporting voice and innovation in Co-ordinated Market Economies (CMEs) such as Germany and Scandinavia when compared to Liberal Market Economies (LMEs) such the US and Canada. However, other researchers see such complementarities breaking down as globalization intensifies, whilst some have found that even in LMEs, innovation can emerge from traditional bargaining systems rather than from formal partnerships.

We illustrate these points via a case study of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) in the Southern Ontario auto industry. The CAW  has been successful in maintaining a strong independent voice for employees in a largely adversarial industrial relations system which is at best voluntarist with respect to fostering positive rights for employee voice. While resisting formal partnerships with firms, the CAW has co-operated in workplace innovation and acted as a conduit of knowledge between firms within clusters. However, this role is being jeopardized by the ongoing  macro-economic  restructuring of OEMs  and a public policy context which is becoming less supportive of unionization. Given these pressures, there is evidence that the CAW that it is less able to maintain an independent stance than in the past. We conclude by arguing that in the absence of strong public policies supporting collective employee voice, union roles especially in LMEs may continue to weaken and with it their ability to facilitate certain types of innovation.


Dalil MASCHINO (Ministère du travail, Gouvernement du Québec, Canada)
Politique publique et innovations en milieu de travail : la quête d’un équilibre entre un bien public et des rendements privés

Charles HECKSCHER (Rutgers University, USA)
Public policy and employment flexibility

Abstract

The growth of collaboration across firm boundaries – in supply chain networks, alliances, and cooperative networks such as open source software – has created major strains for the regulatory systems of government and labor, which are still focused largely on large, centrally-administered firms. Among other problems, employment-based welfare (especially in the US) is disintegrating; property law is being fundamentally challenged by knowledge collaboration; and the tripartite “neo-corporatist” system of regulation no longer incorporates the diversity of actors. The challenge for social regulation is to redefine institutions to represent emerging actors and, processes of negotiation that will yield stable agreements, and a framework of rights and responsibilities that encourages equitable collaboration.



Workshops 3


Workshop 3.1

Market Individualization and Beyond: The Australian / New Zealand Experience with Radical Labour Market Reforms

Clive H.J. GILSON (University of Waikato, New Zealand)
Terry H. WAGAR (St-Mary’s University, Canada)
Seismic Public Policy Changes and Their Impact on Industrial Relations: The New Zealand Experience

Abstract

The 1990s witnessed a dramatic change in the regulation of union-management relations in New Zealand.  In 1991, the Employment Contracts Act (ECA) was made law and among its various provisions was a ban on compulsory unionism and the permitting of individual contracts of employment.  Prior to this legislation, restructuring and layoffs during the late 1980s had resulted in a dramatic decline in union membership and consequently, opposition to the ECA was both weak and ineffective. Despite some pressure on the government to change the legislation, the ECA survived until 2000 with the enactment of the Employment Relations Act 2000 which now includes standard requirements to bargain in good faith.  n our presentation, we will describe the pre-ECA period, review the ECA era, and conclude with a discussion of the Employment Relations Act 2000 and its implications for industrial relations.  We supplement our discussion with a presentation of results from three surveys of New Zealand employers conducted in 1995, 1999 and 2004-05.     


Ron McCALLUM (University of Sydney, Australia)
The Australian Work Choices Laws and the Individualization of Antipodean Workplaces

Abstract

For a century, conciliation and arbitration-based labour law operated throughout Australia. The linchpin of this system was that minimum wages and terms and conditions of employment were largely, but not wholly determined at the sectoral level of the relevant industry. Although changes occurred in the 1990's, the system was still based upon statutory labour relations commissions settling disputes over minimum labour standards via conciliation - and in those few instances where conciliation failed - by final and binding interest arbitration. The Howard federal Government's new Work Choices laws which commenced in March 2006 have altered Australia's labour law landscape by abolishing the remaining vestiges of conciliation and arbitration. Instead, the new regime places individual agreement-making over and above all forms of collective representation. In this brief presentation, I shall analyze these changes and shall unpack the practical operation of these new Work Choices laws.


Barbara POCOCK (University of South Australia, Australia)
The Impact of Radical Labour Market Reform on Vulnerable Workers and Social Reproduction in the Australian Context

Abstract

This contribution will review some of the effects of changes in Australia’s industrial relations system on vulnerable workers and the capacity for social reproduction in Australia. Changes in labour law in Australia in 2006 rolled back some recently won work and family gains which assisted many workers including the low paid and women. Further, the round of changes has reduced their capacity to voice their working time preferences with real effect. The contribution will review the importance of both statutory minimum standards and facilitative laws, and propose some better directions and key protections that Australia’s low paid workers and those with care responsibilities need.


David PEETZ (Griffith University, Australia)
La Grande Illusion: The Economic Dimensions of Radical Reform and the Response of Labour

Abstract

The espoused rationale for radical labour reform in Australia has been economic: to promote higher productivity, employment and wages. The unstated rationale has been to reduce or remove unions’ role in workplaces and shift power from labour to capital. This presentation will consider the claimed and actual economic effects of the ‘Work Choices’ laws, their impact on unionism, and the responses of labour in both the industrial and political arenas.


Workshop 3.2

Looking for Global Justice at Work: New Actors, New Modes of Governance?

Deborah GROBAN OLSON (The Capital Ownership Group, USA)
Fair Exchange: Providing Citizens with Equity Managed by a Community Trust, in Return for Government Subsidies or Tax Breaks to Businesses

Abstract

The policy proposal called "Fair Exchange" means that when communities provide subsidies to businesses the citizens should get equity managed by a community trust. This article describes large-scale successful and unsuccessful legal and historical precedents for Fair Exchange, comparing their virtues and drawbacks on issues of equity acquisition and distribution, community impact on corporate governance, and their local social and economic impacts. It provides model local, state and federal legislation, which could also be used in global trade agreements. It discusses the complex problem of quantifying non-financial (but very real) community benefits for the existing precedents, community benefit agreements, and proposed fair exchange models. It proposes basic metrics for some community benefits. It describes the creation of a Community Trust network including a mutual fund and voting trust agreements to enable thousands of local community trusts to pool resources, diversify their investment portfolios, and increase their impact on corporate governance in conjunction with pension and socially responsible investment funds. For each issue raised in the section on “ Issues confronting potential FE legislation” it proposes potential solutions. It discusses potential Fair Exchange agreements governing use of the airwaves; its significance in the policy debate about how to organize a real “ownership society” without undermining social security; and its significance in confronting the transfer of jobs from developed to developing countries or from developing countries to China. A policy conference, devoted to discussion of this paper, was held at George Washington University Law School in October 2005.

Paper

Powerpoint Presentation



George TSOGAS (City University London, United Kingdom)
‘Roger and Me’ or How to Start on a New Paradigm for 21st Century Industrial Relations (and in the process get rid of 'some' labour lawyers…)

Abstract

When Michael Moore made “Roger & Me” in 1989, he did not realise that in fact he was introducing a new concept in industrial relations that can radically change the theory and praxis in this field: “forget the law – go after the boss!” Years later after that movie was made, CSR approaches on labour issues are flourishing. Based on “soft”, private regulation (i.e. corporate or industry codes of conduct) or mere moral and ethical suasion activists, NGOs, and the society at large, through social movement activism is moving towards holding directly accountable the CEOs and management of companies for their wrong-doings. Faced with the inability of state-based legal frameworks to regulate globally active companies, and the failure to establish meaningful international labour regulation by linking trade agreements with observance of labour standards, we propose to explore a new road opening wide; one based on a CSR approach to labour regulation.


Dean HUBBARD (Sarah Lawrence College, USA)
Reimagining Workers' Human Rights:  Transformative Organizing for a Socially Aware Global Economy

Abstract

Globalized neoliberalism is neither inevitable nor irreversible.  By strategically reimagining labor activism, globally conscious local organizers are expanding the range of answers to the question of what kind of globalization will eventually predominate.  The first part of the article outlines the provisions of international human rights law, many ratified by the United States, which require states to provide means of subsistence and work with dignity to all their people.  International governance and finance institutions charged with protecting these “economic human rights” have instead, acting in the perceived interests of economic and political elites in developed nations (particularly the United States),  enabled the actualization of neoliberal policies which have raised significant obstacles to realizing of these rights.   The paper notes several cases in which the implementation of radical “free” market policies has resulted in a human rights catastrophe for workers in both developed and developing regions of the Americas.   While economic human rights are not likely to be litigated, legislated or negotiated into existence under current global political and economic policy structures, international legal protections can and in some cases are providing a normative basis to support transformative social movement organizing for a “Socially Aware Global Economy.” 

The second part of the article outlines a framework to foster egalitarian, popular democratic, systemic economic and political transformation, which the author dubs  “SAGE”  organizing.  The foundation of this approach is linking local workplace and community organizing for the rights and agency of marginalized people to transnational change networks.  The paper explores the efficacy of three divergent but complementary strategic manifestations of this framework.  These approaches include 1) resuscitating economic human rights law enforcement through strategic application wedded to social movement organizing, 2) reinvigorating the labor movement through concrete struggles to build genuine transnational solidarity, and 3) applying lessons learned from the struggles and successes of the first two elements of the triad to articulate alternative policies and institutions.

The paper concludes with four active unifying principles for diverse movements to reframe economic human rights discourse and build effective transnational mass movements for egalitarian change.  These include celebrating difference, practicing prefigurative politics, creating “fusion” and having the courage to struggle for our deepest convictions.

Paper



Bruce NISSEN (Florida International University, USA)
‘Social Justice Infrastructure’ Organizations as New Actors from the Community: the Case of South Florida

Abstract

As the traditional labor movement in the United States declines, new organizations arise to address issues of social justice.  In the area surrounding Miami, Florida (a "globalized city" with a high immigrant population and extensive financial and trade relations especially with Latin America), a variety of community organizations have grown in the past decade to address problems of workers and their families at the workplace and in the community.  This paper dubs them "social justice infrastructure" organizations and explores their interrelationships and relationships with the labor movement.  Implications of this phenomenon are explored.


Workshop 3.4

Fundamental Freedoms at Work: Are Nation States Fulfilling their International Obligations?

Jonathan EATON (Ontario Ministry of Labour, Canada)
Defining 'Essential Services' in the New World of Work: The Challenge for Public Policy

Abstract

Workers in a significant number of occupations in Canadian jurisdictions are deemed “essential” and therefore not legally entitled to strike (and cannot be locked out) in the event of a labour dispute. Changes in the world of work have heightened concerns both about which workers should be deemed essential, and what dispute resolution procedure should substitute for the right to strike for these workers. The goal of this paper is to contribute to this debate and provide a platform for discussion of potential reforms by analyzing the different regimes governing essential services. The paper will provide an overview of the current legislative framework for essential services coverage and dispute resolution in Ontario, noting similarities and differences with the law in other Canadian jurisdictions. The author will then take a closer look at the first key issue identified above; i.e., what type of work and workers should be considered essential? This discussion will draw from both popular and academic commentary on this issue, as well as considering the perspective provided by the International Labour Organization. The paper will also outline the various dispute resolution mechanisms that have been substituted for the right to strike for essential workers. Finally, the paper will provide some evidence regarding the operation of the essential services framework in Ontario, examining the impact of the law on dispute rates and wage outcomes. Based on this analysis, the author will offer some concluding comments on the policy challenges associated with essential services in the new world of work.

Paper



Roy ADAMS (McMaster University, Canada)
Beyond the Right to Organize (or not): Towards Universal Workplace Representation

Abstract

In Canada and the United States a conundrum exists. These countries have in place legislation that recognizes the right of most employees to organize and bargain collectively. In addition, there is available survey evidence that most employees desire independent workplace representation through which they might negotiate their conditions of work. However, in both Canada and the United States the large majority of workers have no independent collective representation. Their conditions of work are established unilaterally by owner-appointed managers. In short, workers want representation, they are entitled to it but yet they remain disorganized and unrepresented. This paper examines the gap between worker aspirations for representation and the reality of their continued exclusion. It is argued that for worker aspirations to be realised, there is a need to change focus from the right to organize to the right to bargain collectively.

Paper



Pierre VERGE & Dominic ROUX (Université Laval, Canada)
Liberté syndicale :  Le Canada satisfait-il à ses obligations internationales ?

Abstract

Le droit international conventionnel ne produisant pas d’effet direct en droit interne canadien, il revient aux différents parlements de l’État fédéral de faire en sorte que leur législation respective soit à la hauteur des engagements internationaux du pays. Dans quelle mesure est-ce le cas en matière de travail?

Deux questions reliées à l’affirmation de la liberté syndicale servent d’amorce à cette réflexion, soit :

I. la négation à certaines catégories de travailleurs du bénéfice des principaux éléments de la loi régissant couramment les rapports collectifs du travail;

II. l'interdiction particulière de grève dans des services d’utilité publique.


Isabelle DUPLESSIS (Université de Montréal, Canada)
Qu'implique la qualification de certains droits comme fondamentaux pour leur effectivité au plan international ?

Abstract

La qualification de certains droits en tant que droits fondamentaux a pour ultime conséquence d’universaliser leur protection. La convergence normative autour des droits fondamentaux de l’homme se remarque, comme toujours mais plus particulièrement dans les dernières décennies dans un contexte marqué par la mondialisation, par l’adoption de normes internationales conventionnelles consacrant un nombre restreint de droits fondamentaux au travail. L’exécution des obligations conventionnelles par les États fait souvent l’objet d’un contrôle effectué par des mécanismes quasi judiciaires et politiques. La convergence normative se remarque en outre pour certains droits fondamentaux au travail qui sont vraisemblablement devenus au fil du temps aussi des dispositions coutumières en droit international.

Aux normes conventionnelles et coutumières consacrant des droits fondamentaux s’ajoutent également, de manière importante pour la complémentarité des normes internationales et la cohérence du système juridique, une série de règles souples, dites de soft law, s’y référant. Les recommandations et les déclarations adoptées au sein des institutions publiques, comme l’Organisation internationale du Travail (OIT), en constituent des exemples privilégiés. Mais, les normes souples consacrant les droits fondamentaux au travail peuvent aussi émaner des entreprises multinationales qui se donnent elles-mêmes de plus en plus des instruments de régulation privée pour encadrer leurs activités internationales. Bref, l’universalisme visé pour les droits fondamentaux au travail n’est plus canalisé par l’État exclusivement. Il est assuré pour partie par la pratique des acteurs non étatiques intéressés par la protection des droits des travailleurs.

La consécration d’un droit en tant que droit fondamental, qu’elle soit le fait de normes dures ou de normes souples, relève indéniablement de la théorie constitutionnelle. Elle doit être compris dans le contexte d’une société internationale décentralisée et craignant pour la fragmentation du système juridique. Or, cet emprunt à la théorie constitutionnelle est-il heureux pour la protection des droits des travailleurs? La constitutionnalisation de certains droits fondamentaux au travail, et singulièrement de la liberté syndicale, possède le mérite d’étendre leur portée normative au plan universel. Leur appropriation par l’ensemble des acteurs internationaux est facilitée par leur petit nombre. La constitutionnalisation jette ainsi une passerelle normative entre les différents acteurs internationaux et fournit un langage commun aux États, aux organisations internationales entre elles, aux organisations non gouvernementales, et aux entreprises multinationales, pour une meilleure gouvernance mondiale que tous appellent de leurs vœux.

Mais les bienfaits viennent rarement seuls. La constitutionnalisation peut aussi avoir pour conséquence de réduire la qualité du code international du travail élaboré tout au long du XXe siècle. Certains droits ont été consacrés en tant que droits fondamentaux, d’autres non. Qu’adviendra-t-il des deuxièmes qui, pourtant, sont nombreux? Que signifie en outre la qualification juridique d’un droit en tant que fondamental? S’il convient d’applaudir la grande diversité des acteurs s’appropriant les droits fondamentaux au travail, il leur reste toutefois à intégrer dans leur cercle normatif respectif les interprétations qu’en ont faites les organes de contrôle de l’OIT et de la Commission des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies. L’appropriation contemporaine par les acteurs internationaux est-elle réelle ou sommes-nous devant un phénomène d’inflation verbale autour des droits fondamentaux au travail qui ne mènera nulle part, destiné à faire taire les craintes provoquées par une mondialisation essentiellement économique?


Workshop 3.5

Flexicurity: The New Gold Standard for Labour Market Policy?

Christophe RAMAUX (Université Paris I, France)
La flexicurité : une régulation du marché du travail adaptée à la mondialisation ?

Abstract

A l’heure de la mondialisation, la flexicurité est-elle une réponse adaptée en matière de régulation du marché du travail ? L’OCDE et la Commission européenne plaident pour cette solution, de même que de très nombreux travaux d’économistes, de sociologues ou de juristes. Les thèses en faveur de la flexicurité soutiennent qu’un modèle d’emploi instable tend à s’imposer (c’est le volet flexibilité), qu’il convient d’accompagner par de nouveaux dispositifs notamment en termes d’accès à des formations entre deux emplois (c’est le volet sécurité). La communication propose une lecture critique de la flexicurité en combinant des arguments à la fois empiriques et théoriques. On discute tout d’abord le diagnostic selon lequel émerge un nouveau modèle d’emploi instable. On prolonge ensuite cette critique au niveau théorique : (i) les thèses sur la flexicurité restent focalisées sur une analyse en termes de marché du travail, ce qui tend à évacuer la question des politiques macroéconomiques (budgétaire, monétaire, etc.) de soutien à la croissance ; (ii) elles confortent l’idée selon laquelle le travail peut être analysé, d’un point de vue théorique, sur le mode de l’échange. 

Paper



Axel van den BERG (Université McGill, Canada)
Flexicurity: Theory (Sweden), Practice (Denmark) and Rhetoric (EU)

Abstract

In the European discourse about social, economic and labour market policy, the term ‘flexicurity’ has become something of a semantic magnet for those who are looking for ways to reconcile the demands of employers for more flexibility with those of employees for social security. As a result, the term now stands for a bewildering variety of normative intentions, policy goals, existing policies and policy mixes, and research agendas. This paper seeks to contribute to the clarification of the meaning and uses of the concept of ‘flexicurity’ as well as to a better understanding of the social preconditions needed for its successful implementation by comparing three settings in which the term may be or has been applied, the so-called Swedish Rehn-Meidner model, the much-celebrated Danish flexicurity, and the European Commission’s recent conversion to the language of flexicurity. Each of these settings has some specifics to teach us about useful and not-so-useful uses of the term flexicurity as well as about the need to clearly identify its potential beneficiaries as well as possible victims.


Christian PAPINOT (Université de Brest, France)
Flexibilité d’emploi et sécurité salariale, la conciliation impossible ?: réflexion à partir du “chômage-intérim” des jeunes diplômés (France)

Abstract

Le marché du travail intérimaire est un marché en pleine expansion en France (DARES, 2006). L’emploi intérimaire constitue un outil important de flexibilité, y compris selon un processus de substitution plus ou moins direct d’emplois temporaires aux emplois permanents. Trois intérimaires sur cinq ont moins de trente ans. L’épreuve du “chômage-intérim” des jeunes s’inscrit dans un contexte général d’effritement de la société salariale (Castel R., 1995) et compose bien une forme paroxytique de cette “mise en mobilité généralisée” (Castel, 2003) par la fragilité du lien salarial qui lui est intrinsèque. Le contrat de mise à disposition par une agence de travail temporaire cumule les écarts au modèle salarial (identification ambigüe de l’employeur; mise à disposition temporaire; discontinuité des missions, dichotomie des relations de travail et d’emploi)… La discontinuité et la brièveté des missions font de l’expérience de l’intérim une participation en “pointillé” au monde du travail et rendent plus floue et perméable la frontière entre chômage et activité. De même que le travail à temps partiel contraint dissimule une situation de chômage partiel, il paraît plus juste ici au vu du temps effectivement passé en missions de qualifier cette main-d’oeuvre de “chômeurs-intérimaires” plutôt que d’intérimaires qui occulte l’intermittence de l’activité constitutive de ce processus de mise au travail (Papinot, 2003, 2005). A partir de l’analyse d’une centaine d’entretiens avec des jeunes diplômés ayant eu recours à l’intérim à l’entrée sur le marché du travail, on se propose de discuter des débats actuels en France autour de la « flexicurité », ou celle de sécurisation des parcours professionnels.



Workshops 4


Workshop 4.1

New Organizational Models: Sources of Vulnerability for Workers

Urwana COIQUAUD (HEC Montreal, Canada)
L’organisation en franchise : le franchisé, un «entrepreneur vulnérable»?

Abstract

Le contrat de franchise se présente comme un outil de collaboration capable de fédérer, autour du processus de réitération, une série d’entrepreneurs indépendants. Dans les faits, certains contrats de franchise sombrent dans une autre réalité au point où la doctrine les surnomme « franchises subordonnantes » (Licari 2002, 87), car les déséquilibres contractuels se multiplient au détriment du franchisé. L’objet de cette communication consiste à mettre en lumière l’ambivalence du contrat de franchise au Canada tout en y introduisant des éléments de droit comparé.


Patrice JALETTE (University of Montreal, Canada)
La sous-traitance comme source de situations de vulnérabilité pour la main-d’œuvre

Abstract

Quelles sont les conséquences de la sous-traitance pour la main-d’œuvre? En dépit de la résonnance quasi-quotidienne de cette question au sein des milieux de travail, elle n’a pas fait l’objet d’un traitement systématique par la littérature. Le modèle de la recherche met en évidence les effets directs et indirects de la sous-traitance sur les conditions de travail des travailleurs et travailleuses. Cette recherche se base sur trois études de cas réalisées dans des organisations syndiquées et non syndiquées de trois secteurs (manufacturier, municipal, services) et une enquête réalisée auprès de syndicats locaux. Les résultats montrent que les effets de la sous-traitance varient selon la catégorie d’employé(e)s considérée et que certaines y sont plus vulnérables que d’autres, ce qui soulève un certain nombre de questions du point de vue des politiques publiques.


Guylaine VALLÉE (University of Montreal, Canada)
Véronique de TONNANCOUR (University of Montreal, Canada)
L’application des normes régissant la relation individuelle de travail aux salariés d’agences de location de personnel : une analyse empirique et juridique

Abstract

L’industrie du travail intérimaire a connu une expansion significative au cours des dernières décennies. Cette étude a pour but de déterminer si le recours à une agence de location de personnel, à cause de la relation tripartite qu’elle engendre, génère des difficultés d’application des normes québécoises régissant le lien individuel d’emploi. Pour ce faire, nous brosserons un portrait des plaintes impliquant une agence de location de personnel déposées par des travailleurs québécois à la Commission des normes du travail et à l’organisme Au bas de l’échelle entre 2003 et 2006. Au total, 95 plaintes ont constitué le corps d’analyse de cette recherche exploratoire. Les principaux résultats préliminaires montrent que les difficultés entourant l’identification de l’employeur sont précurseurs des autres problèmes juridiques reliés à la mise en œuvre des normes régissant le lien individuel d’emploi. Par ailleurs, le caractère intermittent du lien d’emploi qui relie le travailleur intérimaire à l’agence de location de personnel est de nature à compromettre l’application des normes pécuniaires dont la condition d’ouverture repose sur la notion de service continu. Les résultats montrent également que l’industrie du travail temporaire est loin d’être une réalité homogène et statique : l’étude rend compte d’une diversité de modèles de fourniture de main-d’œuvre allant du prêt de main-d’œuvre sur une base temporaire à la fourniture de main-d’œuvre qui frôle la sous-traitance.


Louise BOIVIN (University of Montreal, Canada)
Les conditions d'emploi issues de la sous-traitance des services publics et d'un programme d'immigration temporaire dans le secteur de l'aide à domicile

Abstract

L'organisation des services d'aide à domicile au Québec est caractérisée par un éclatement entre divers types de fournisseurs recourant à diverses formes d'emploi, souvent atypiques. Ces modèles organisationnels engendrent des situations de grande vulnérabilité pour les travailleuses au plan de leur accès aux droits sociaux, de leurs conditions de travail et de leur capacité d'action collective et renforcent l'usage sexué et racialisé de leur travail. C'est ce qui ressort de notre recherche basée entre autres sur des groupes de discussions de travailleuses employées dans le cadre de formes de sous-traitance des services publics (entreprise d'économie sociale et chèque emploi-service) et dans le cadre du Programme des aides familiaux résidants (PAFR), un programme fédéral d'importation de main-d'œuvre immigrante pour des ménages privés.


Katherine LIPPEL (University of Ottawa, Canada)
Les nouveaux modèles d’entreprise et la mise en œuvre des politiques en matière de santé et sécurité des travailleurs

Abstract

Cette  présentation examinera les difficultés que présente la mise en oeuvre de politiques publiques, conçues pour protéger la santé des personnes qui travaillent dans une relation de travail classique, dans le cadre de nouvelles situations de travail associées aux relations de travail triangulaires (recours aux agences de travail temporaire, à la sous-traitance et aux travailleurs autonomes). On y examine d’abord les principaux enjeux de santé au travail soulevés par le recours aux ressources externes à l’entreprise et on y aborde la question de l’inadéquation de certaines dispositions juridiques visant à prévenir les problèmes de santé au travail ou à assurer la réparation des conséquences de lésions professionnelles, compte tenu des besoins créés par ces nouveaux modèles d’entreprise.


Workshop 4.2

The End of Public Policy in Industrial Relations: A Comparative Review of Recent Developments I

Serafino NEGRELLI (Universita’ Degli Studi di Bresca, Italy)
Responding to Domestic, Eu and Global Pressures: Public Policy in Industrial Relations in Italy  

Enrique de la GARZA TOLEDO (UAM/I, Mexico)
Change or Continuity? Industrial Relations in Mexico at the Begining of the 21st Century

Darryn SNELL (Monash University, Australia)
Alison HART (Monash University, Australia)
Corporate Welfare and the Neo-liberalisation of Public Policy - Implications for Employment and Training

Abstract

Considerable local, national and international public policy debate has surrounded the proliferation of neo-liberal and privatisation policy agendas in recent years.   The re-orientation of government funding away from public and social institutions towards the private sector has been a common feature of these broader policy agendas. Tax-concessions, subsidies and financial incentives to private organisations have become a wide-spread feature of neo-liberal economies.  Corporate welfare has come to serve a range of purposes including attracting and retaining mobile capital, stimulating employment growth, advancing private-sector led research and development, salvaging insolvent businesses and addressing market failures. The proliferation of corporate welfare, however, has not received the same level of public policy scrutiny nor has there been much discussion about how it relates to the neo-liberalisation of public policy.    This paper discusses the neo-liberalisation of public policy in Australia in recent years and the role of corporate welfare in this process.  It considers how these changes have been applied and have impacted on the country’s vocational education (VET) sector.  It considers the influences shaping the decision to privatise and deregulate Australia’s vocational system; discusses some of the major features of the new VET system and the outcome of these changes on employment and training.  It raises questions about the capacity of this new corporate welfare dependent system to deliver better outcomes for trainees, apprentices and employers. 

NOTE : This workshop was organized by the Public Policy Study Group of the International Industrial Relations Association.


Workshop 4.3

Asymmetric Integration and Transnational Actors: Comparing Labour Regulation in Global Regions

Adelle BLACKETT (McGill University, Canada)
Christian LÉVESQUE (HEC Montreal, Canada)
Mapping the Social in Regional Integration

Graciela BENSUSÁN (UAM-X, Mexico)
The Protection of Labour Rights in Mexico's Clothing Industry: The Mechanisms and Reach of National and Transnational Action  

Abstract

Cet article ouvre une discussion sur les mesures à prendre afin de protéger les droits des travailleurs dans un contexte de mondialisation et de montée en force des pressions concurrentielles en partant de l’analyse du cas des travailleurs de l’industrie maquiladora du vêtement au Mexique. Partant de cet objectif, nous passerons en revue les différentes mesures de protection déjà existantes ainsi que les résultats auxquels elles ont conduit, que ces mesures soient de nature publique ou privée ou encore qu’elles s’inscrivent dans un cadre national, international ou transnational. Au terme de cet exposé, nous soutiendrons que les mécanismes nationaux de régulation du travail, dont les législations nationales, doivent demeurer au centre de l’agenda, même si des réformes doivent être entreprises afin de les adapter plus adéquatement aux nouvelles données contextuelles. L’importance de ces mécanismes nationaux ne doit toutefois pas faire ombrage à la nécessité de renforcer les mécanismes de protection qui se développent actuellement au plan international et transnational et dont il serait souhaitable qu’ils acquièrent un caractère plus coercitif.

Powerpoint Presentation (Spanish)
Powerpoint Presentation
(English)


Isabelle DESBARATS (Université Toulouse I Sciences sociales, France)
La régulation juridique à l'épreuve du processus européen de libéralisation des services

Abstract

Dans le contexte actuel, où l’élargissement de l’Europe à 27 offre de nouvelles opportunités pour le développement des services à condition que les obstacles à l’intégration des marchés européens soient levés, comment lutter - non pas contre la porosité des frontières - mais contre certains de ses aspects négatifs, d’un point de vue social ? Comment, tout à la fois, préserver l’exercice des libertés économiques, garantir la protection des droits sociaux fondamentaux des travailleurs détachés et combattre les risques de concurrence déloyale ?

Pour deux raisons a priori différentes mais qui se rejoignent sur le terrain de l’intervention publique, ces questions suscitent, aujourd’hui, un regain d’attention dans l’UE et, particulièrement, en France. La première tient à l’adoption d’une loi française d’août 2005 qui témoigne très clairement de la détermination du législateur national à défendre les entreprises locales contre de trop grands risques de concurrence déloyale éventuellement exercés par des entreprises étrangères. La seconde est en lien avec l’adoption, en décembre 2006, d’une directive « service » –version dite light du projet dit Bolkenstein - car expurgée de ses aspects les plus polémiques.

Or il s’avère que le processus actuel de libéralisation des services constitue une bonne illustration de la relative impuissance de la régulation juridique à appréhender certains effets pervers de l’ouverture des frontières : voila pourquoi il  paraît indispensable d’identifier d’autres modes possibles de régulation pour gérer les risques de concurrence sociale intra-communautaire.

Paper



Emmanuelle MAZUYER (Université Aix-Marseille 3, France)
Le rôle des partenaires sociaux européens dans la régulation du travail régionale

Abstract

Au siècle dernier, les politiques de régulation du travail ont été fondées dans le cadre national de l’État providence et sur l’utilisation de la négociation collective comme outil primordial de régulation nationale des conditions de travail. Depuis la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale, l’État et les acteurs sociaux nationaux ont cependant perdu une grande part de leur capacité à imposer des choix politiques dans le domaine du travail en raison de la mondialisation et de la régionalisation de l’économie qui engendrent un dépassement des frontières nationales.

Afin de contribuer à une meilleure compréhension des enjeux et du renouvellement des politiques reliées au travail et à l’emploi, la présente étude a comme objet les nouvelles formes et les nouveaux acteurs de régulation du travail dans le contexte de la régionalisation (au sens de regroupement des Etats au sein d’intégrations économiques régionales). Plus spécifiquement, elle s’attache au rôle des acteurs sociaux européens dans la régulation du travail dans l’Union européenne.

Ce rôle a varié en fonction de deux paramètres : l’évolution des techniques régulatoires européennes (notamment des blocages de la voie « législative » et des difficultés au sein du processus décisionnel) et les capacités de représentation des intérêts professionnels sur la scène européenne.

La place des acteurs sociaux européens a suivi l’évolution des différentes phases de la politique sociale européenne. Mais qui sont ces acteurs ? Comment se sont-ils formés ? Quelle est leur représentativité ? Comment interviennent-ils ? Jusqu’à quel point peut-on dire qu’il existe une régulation « spontanée » des acteurs privés parallèlement à celle, très institutionnalisée, qui est à l’origine du dialogue social instauré au sein de l’Union européenne ?

Pour répondre à ces questions, il convient de dissocier les données du dialogue social européen institutionnel qui permet une régulation encadrée (I) d’une régulation spontanée mettant en lumière une réelle capacité normative des partenaires sociaux européens (II).

Paper



Workshop 4.4

Pension Policies: the End of the 'Golden Age' of the Post-war Institutional Architecture?

Frédéric HANIN (Université Laval, Canada)
La politique des retraites à l’ère de la mondialisation du capital : quels enjeux pour le travail et l’emploi ?

Abstract

Cette communication propose une analyse des facteurs macro-institutionnels qui influencent les politiques de financement du système de retraite idéal-typique multi-piliers hérité de l’ère industrielle, en étudiant plus particulièrement le cas du Canada. Il s’agit, d’une part de montrer comment les transformations du travail et de l’emploi depuis les années 1980 (flexibilité, externalisation, productivité) ont eu un impact sur les différentes composantes et les performances du système de retraites, et d’analyser, d’autre part, les nouvelles approches en matière de dispositifs publics, à l’ère d’une société postindustrielle (Bonoli et Shinkawa, 2005). Trois types de réformes sont aujourd’hui mises en place : la logique de l’assureur en dernier ressort comme aux États-Unis, la logique de la couverture individuelle et universelle comme en Grande-Bretagne (Holzmann et Palmer, 2005), et la logique du fonds d’amortissement comme en France (Musalem et Palacios, 2004). On s’attachera à montrer que ces nouveaux dispositifs qui sont mis en œuvre comportent une problématique de refondation de l’État Social à travers la construction de complémentarités institutionnelles (OCDE, 2006) entre le système de retraite et le système d’emploi pour éviter que le financement des retraites ne se face au détriment de la sécurisation des conditions de travail et d’emploi.

Paper



Patricia SIMPSON (Loyola University Chicago, USA)
Marianne A. FERBER (University of Illinois, USA)
Pension Reform and Poverty Among the Elderly - What We Know, What We Don't Know: Results from a Pilot Study

Abstract

The past twenty-five years have witnessed a world-wide trend of public pension reform. Beginning in Chile in 1981 (Corbo and Schmidt-Hebbel, 2003), the trend gathered momentum, spreading first to other counties in Latin America (Campbell, 1992; Claramunt, 2004; Cottani and Demarco, 1998; Kritzer, 2000) and later to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) (Fultz, Ruck, and Steinhilber, 2003), as well as Western Europe (Kremers, 2002) and Australia (Edey and Simon, 1998; Saunders, 2002) during the 1990s. Although approaches to reform varied, a fairly common pattern was shifting from pay-as-you-go (PAYG), defined benefit systems to individual retirement benefits more closely linked to individual pre-retirement contributions (Feldstein and Siebert, 2002; Smetters, 1999). 

In advanced capitalist countries, pension systems were generally designed to incorporate a social insurance component that guaranteed retirees a specified level of earnings replacement, while also providing them with a minimally adequate income. These goals were most often achieved by combining benefits related to previous earnings with minimum payments for everyone. In this paper we explore, as best we can with the available data, to what extent these two goals are furthered or impeded by introducing mandatory privately managed, defined contribution accounts instead or in addition to public pension systems. In addition we perform an “experimental exercise” that enables us to learn more about the relationship between poverty rates among the elderly and private accounts across the European Union (EU), a group of relatively similar nations for which reasonably good data on projected poverty rates are available.

Paper



Claude RIOUX (Confédération des syndicats nationaux, Canada)
Le régimes de retraite dans les économies développées: perspectives des politiques publiques proposées par la Banque mondiale, le Fonds monétaire international et l'Organisation internationale du travail

Abstract

Dans le débat  au cœur des propositions de réformes des systèmes de retraite formulées dans plusieurs pays, il est intéressant de connaître les perspectives de réforme adoptées par les organisations internationales qui se sont inscrites dans ce débat. Cette communication porte sur les perspectives de la Banque mondiale, du FMI et de l’OIT. Les organisations financières (BM et FMI) abordent la question à partir du modèle de système de retraite par piliers. Préoccupées par le poids des systèmes publics de retraite sur les finances publiques et leur impact sur l’économie nationale, ainsi que par les tendances démographiques, ces instituions estiment que le fardeau du financement de la retraite doit être répartie entre les acteurs sociaux : gouvernement, entreprises ainsi que par les individus, d’où leur recommandation d’adopter un modèle par pilier. L’OIT  pour sa part s’appuie sur une approche normative pour concevoir le système de retraite, insistant sur les principes d’universalité, sur la protection des travailleurs âgés contre la pauvreté, bien que l’organisation appuie les initiatives publiques favorisant le  recours à des instruments volontaires.

Ces propositions questionnent le caractère citoyen du droit à une protection adéquate du revenu à la retraite, car elles mettent l’emphase sur la constitution de l’épargne liée aux gains du travail et aux rendements financiers. 

Powerpoint Presentation



Workshops 5


Workshop 5.1

Public Policies as Protection Mechanisms: Social Construct and Content

Lucie MORISSETTE (HEC Montreal, Canada)
Petit guide d’intervention pour tout acteur souhaitant participer à la construction des politiques publiques

Abstract

Les politiques publiques, du moins dans le domaine du travail, s’appréhendent le plus souvent comme un construit social complexe. Leur émergence ou leur transformation va bien au-delà d’une simple intervention législative. Elles sont le fruit d’une négociation, qui peut s’opérer sur plusieurs années, entre différents acteurs étatiques et sociaux. Elles sont également plus que le simple reflet d’intérêts matériels; elles s’assimilent à des visions du monde, des croyances, promues par leurs défenseurs. Ces derniers se coaliseront d’ailleurs de façon plus ou moins étroite et mobiliseront les différents leviers de pouvoir à leur disposition pour faire avancer leur cause. La dynamique politique sera aussi influencée par la capacité des acteurs à contrôler l’univers discursif dans lequel seront discutés les enjeux soulevés et les solutions proposées. En ce sens, il faut y voir une interaction entre les logiques cognitives et logiques de pouvoir.

Cette explication du processus de régulation des politiques publiques sera illustrée par le cas de la réforme du Code du travail au Québec en 2001 et 2003. Cet exemple démontre bien comment des revendications syndicales et patronales de longue date ont finalement eu un écho dans la sphère politique. La compréhension de cette dynamique permet par ailleurs de poser un regard critique sur les résultats qui en ont découlé.


Marie-Josée DUPUIS (University of Montreal, Canada)
Pour un renouveau du cadre d'analyse de la construction des politiques publiques : le rôle de l'acteur non institutionnalisé

Abstract

Nous proposerons des éléments à considérer dans l’analyse de la construction des politiques publiques. Nous aborderons donc le rôle des acteurs de ce processus. D'abord les  acteurs « institutionnalisés » : le traditionnel trio État-patronat-syndicat , mais surtout les acteurs  « non institutionnalisés »  avec au premier plan  les groupes communautaires. Nous avançons qu’il faut d’abord s’interroger sur les fondements du rôle de ces acteurs et sur les bases de leur logique représentative afin de comprendre leur légitimité en tant qu’acteurs politiques. Seulement ensuite serons-nous en mesure de procéder à l’analyse de leur influence, individuelle ou collective, par des actions politiques « formelles » (consultations, commission parlementaire, mémoires, etc) ou « informelles » (manifestations, pétitions, etc.) sur le processus d’élaboration des politiques publiques en matière de travail.


Esther PAQUET (Au bas de l’échelle, Canada)
La campagne menée par ABE dans le cadre du processus de révision de la Loi sur les normes du travail en 2002

Abstract

"
Au bas de l’échelle" est un groupe de défense des droits des travailleuses et des travailleurs non syndiqués, qui existe depuis plus de 30 ans. Nous verrons comment cet organisme est parvenu à s’imposer en tant qu’acteur majeur dans le processus de la réforme de la Loi sur les normes du travail en 2002 et dans quelle mesure il en a influencé le contenu. Au bas de l’échelle décrira la campagne qu’il a menée pour l‘obtention de cette réforme et analysera les différents facteurs conjoncturels expliquant ses réussites et ses insuccès.


Stéphanie BERNSTEIN (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)
Revisiter les droits au travail : la précarité sous l’angle des droits économiques et sociaux


Workshop 5.2

The End of Public Policy in Industrial Relations: A Comparative Review of Recent Developments II 

Christina de ALMEIDA PEDREIRA (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Brazil)
Working Public Policies: A Conceptual Proposal for the Braziliam Legal System

Abstract

For the purpose of public policies, labor must be considered while fundamental right in the measure where it constitutes the way in which people search the sustenance and the guarantee of its survival, it means, consists in the right to a worthy life. The question of the working public policies must be faced as collective interest and not as state interest. The recognition of the public policies as legal substance will provide ways to compel its fulfilment. After all, the coercive character of the rules is inherent to the Law. It will be observed that the rules of law, for all the facts, will be those emanated of the public power (executive, legislative and judiciary) and of the proper parts in the working relation (workers and employer, through the collective instruments).The fact is that the working public policies must be understood as the right to the work of the citizens and also as the duty of the State to direct the subject.


Juan RASO DELGUE (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
Development of Public Policy in Industrial Relations in Uruguay

Sara SLINN (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University)
Lost Years or Charting New Territory? The Evolution of Public Policy in Industrial Relations in Canada

Abstract

Public policy in industrial relations in Canada over the last decade has taken several new directions. The most distinct feature is that of fragmentation, with numerous, discrete changes being made to many areas of industrial relations, contrasting with more wholistic, coherent efforts characterizing the formulation and adjustment of industrial relations policy in earlier periods. At the same time, the federal government has retaken leadership and innovation in IR policy, with provinces following (sometimes reluctantly). However, the federal government is hampered by its constitutionally limited role in social and labour programmes. Overall, public policy in IR has shifted from labour policy, focusing on managing industrial conflict, and towards minimum standards regulations, job and skill development, and work-life balance issues. Government, employers and individual employees are the key actors in this agenda, with little room allowed by government for input from labour. Managing industrial conflict, particularly in the education and health sectors, is now regularly treated perfunctorily by provincial governments, with back to work legislation, imposed collective agreements, and legislatively reducing the scope for bargaining. Related to this is the increasing and continued politicization of IR policy, particularly at the provincial level. Labour law and policy has repeatedly swung back and forth, with many of these changes reflecting an “Americanization” of labour law at a time that the U.S., itself, is recognizing these particular features as a serious weakness of its IR system.

Whether these changes mark a new vision, or an unraveling of coherent policy development remains to be seen.

NOTE : This workshop was organized by the Public Policy Study Group of the International Industrial Relations Association.



Workshop 5.3

Restructuring State Services

Peter FAIRBROTHER (Cardiff University, United Kingdom)
David HALL (Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom)
Public Services in a Neo-liberal Era: Questions for Labour

Abstract

The public sector in many countries has been the subject of major restructuring and reorganization. These processes, from the 1970s to the 2000s, took place in the context of an increasing internationalisation of economic and political relations and contested national politics. This process involved the reconfiguration of the state, via privatisation, contracting out services, and constructing market proxies within the state apparatus, partnership arrangements between the public and private sectors, and increasing alignment with international policies and agencies. These developments raise critical questions for trade unions, particularly those that organize the public services. Not only do unions have to look to the ways they organize and operate in these changed labour markets, but they also face difficult questions of policy formulation and implementation in relation to the services in which they organize, and the challenge of developing organizational and strategic responses to international initiatives in what were previously firmly national.

The relationship between state restructuring and union responses is complex and contradictory. Public service workers are responsible for delivering public services, and in many cases formulating policy and its implementation; while as employees they are faced with the dilemma of how to protect themselves both from government management strategies and private sector employment practices; while also attempting to engage in political action to promote alternative ways of public service organisation. Our argument is that public service unions have to address three sets of dualities in this neo-liberal era:  concerned with union organisation on the one hand, and addressing public policy issues on the other; concerned with public sector and government institutions, and also with the incursions of private companies; and dealing with national and local issues of policy and organisation, and at the same time learning how to operate to deal with international issues and institutions. Thus, the questions facing unions include: rebuilding/building local forms of organisation; developing bargaining with private sector employers, including at international level; intervening in policy development beyond state boundaries. One critical theme in this process is the use of research and education as representational tools. To explore these themes the focus of the study is on a sequenced set of developments from a locality level to international. The data draws on research over a twenty-five year period. This material includes documents, interviews, case studies and related research activity.


Christoph HERMANN (FORBA – Working Life Research Centre, Austria)    
The Liberalization and Privatization of Public Services and the Impact on Employment, Working Conditions and Labour Relations

Abstract

Apart from Keynesian macroeconomic growth strategies, the expansion of the public sector was one of the main public policies to boost employment in the postwar period. In many European countries the expansion of the public sector not only helped to reach full employment. In several aspects the public sector characterised by strong and centralised collective bargaining was also a forerunner insofar as public sector workers enjoyed more employment security and benefits than private sector employees did. This relationship was reversed with the recent wave of liberalisation and privatisation of public services. The paper will summarise the impact of privatisation on employment, working conditions and labour relations and it will emphasise the importance of public ownership and strong product and service market regulation for a progressive policy of work.


Paper



Jean-Noël GRENIER (Université Laval, Canada)
Nouvelle conception du rôle de l’État et nouvelles méthodes de prestation des services publics : Le cas des centres locaux d’emploi

Abstract

Depuis le début des années 2000, le gouvernement du Québec procède à des modifications dans l’orientation des politiques publiques en matière de marché du travail et de l’emploi. Cette réorientation souhaitée par plusieurs spécialistes et intervenants repose sur un passage progressif des mesures de soutien du revenu vers des mesures actives de réinsertion au marché du travail et de développement de l’employabilité chez les bénéficiaires de la Sécurité du Revenu. Elle se situe également dans le contexte plus global de la restructuration des services publics et des emplois dans la fonction publique québécoise. Les éléments centraux de cette restructuration sont la réduction des effectifs, la réorganisation du travail et le recours à des méthodes alternatives de prestation des services à la population. L’expérience en cours dans les Centres locaux d’emploi (CLE) illustre le développement de ces nouvelles approches envers la gestion, l’organisation et la prestation de services de première ligne.

Paper



Robert HICKEY (Queen’s University, Canada)
Global Restructuring in Postal Services: From National Providers to Global Competitors

Abstract

The provision of postal services is one of the most ubiquitous government activities around the world. Every business day, citizens interact with letter carriers and postal employees at millions of points of delivery and hundreds of thousands of post offices. However the public nature of postal services has been caught in the sweeping changes that are transforming the global logistics industry. The traditional lines between postal services and other transportation segments have been disappearing rapidly. Postal operators have witnessed massive changes in the regulatory environment, the industry structure, commercial orientation, and public ownership.

National providers of postal services are emerging from this transformation as global competitors in the logistics and transportation industries. The world’s largest international express delivery company, DHL, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Post. However, German government is now a minority shareholder in the post office that has now become a global giant. This ongoing research project examines the current trends in the transformation of the global logistics industry and its implications for postal operators, labour unions and private firms.


Bob HEBDON (Université McGill, Canada)
Patrice JALETTE (Université de Montréal, Canada)
Union Response to Privatization: Strategic Choice and Pragmatism or Single-minded Opposition?

Abstract

In the ongoing discourse about the privatization of public services, unions are often depicted as staunch opponents of any external forms of service delivery (Hirsch and Osborne 2000; Cook and Murphy 2002: Bel and Fageda forthcoming). Government officials, on the other hand, are shown as being more pragmatic than ideological regarding these matters (Brudney et al 2005; Hefetz and Warner 2004; Warner and Hebdon 2001). Previous studies have shown that a union’s reaction to privatization may depend on the type of restructuring (Warner and Hebdon 2001) and on the climate of relations between union and management (Chandler and Feuille 1994). This study examines the union’s responses to privatization proposals in Canadian municipalities using an original data set collected by the authors. For the first time a wide range of service delivery practices were surveyed together with an array of union reactions ranging from opposition to support. A major finding is that union responses to restructuring options including privatization were more strategic and substantive than a simple “tooth and nail” opposition. In addition to the acquiescent responses of support and ‘no reaction’ and the traditional responses of job actions and grievance arbitrations, unions frequently employ the creative responses of negotiating and mitigating the adverse effects of privatization. The study also shows that management can be creative actors. The probability of jobs actions and strikes can be significantly reduced by management adjustment policies designed to mitigate the adverse effects on employees.


Workshop 5.4

Taming the Tiger: Ensuring Workplace Rights Across Production Chains

David J. DOOREY (York University, Canada)
Disclosure Regulation as a Tool for Influencing Foreign Labour Practices:  A Case Study of Nike and Levi-Strauss

Abstract

How would multinational apparel companies and retailers react to a requirement to disclose the identify and address of the factories in their global supply chain? Could disclosure regulation of this sort cause management changes that could lead to improved labour practices in those factories? Disclosure regulation is a common tool in the arsenal of so-called “decentred” regulatory strategies, which emphasize ways that law can be used to guide and influence the private development of behavioral norms that are consistent with the state’s policy objectives. The author theorizes that mandatory factory list disclosure introduces into the management system a new “risk virus” that companies will seek to manage through systems changes that can ultimately lead to improvements on the factory floors. To explore this theory, the author conducted extensive interviews with senior executives of Nike, Inc. and Levi-Strauss, two companies that recently released their global factory lists “voluntarily”. The research indicates that these companies prepared extensively for the moment of disclosure by significantly improving and investing in their global labour practices monitoring and inspection systems. Neither company identified any negative business effects from the factory disclosure, but both emphasized that the disclosure had facilitated greater collaboration within the industry emphasizing shared strategies to improve supply chain labour practices. These outcomes are potentially useful in the struggle to improve labour practices. Therefore, the author proposes factory list disclosure regulation as an attainable and relatively subtle use of law that might nevertheless contribute in meaningful ways to the challenge of improving working conditions around the world. 

Paper



Tian’en SHEN (Harbin Engineering University, China)
Chunwei SUN (Harbin Engineering University, China)
Xiangzhi JIANG (Harbin Engineering University, China)
Jing SHI (Harbin Engineering University, China) 
Towards a More Effective Implementation of International Labour Standards in China

Don WELLS (McMaster University, Canada)
‘Best Practice’ in the Regulation of International Labor Standards:  Lessons of the U.S.-Cambodia Textile Agreement

Abstract

Labour rights and standards in most contemporary trade agreements are more "aspirational" then enforceable. The US-Cambodia Textile Agreement in force from 1999-2005, and its successor, Better Factories Cambodia, are exceptional.  In this case, labour standards enforcement is linked to the incentive of increased market access. Also unique among trade agreements is the role of the International Labour Organization in monitoring labour standards. While flawed, this trade agreement has benefited Cambodia's garment workers through improved enforcement of both national and international labour standards.  The US Cambodia Textile Agreement and Better Factories Cambodia represent current `best practice' in the promotion of labour standards. This model of labour standards enforcement could be used to improve labour standards in other low labour standard regimes and in other sectors.

Paper



Renée-Claude DROUIN (University of Montreal, Canada)
Propos sur la mise en œuvre des accords-cadres internationaux dans les chaînes globales de production

Abstract

La conclusion d’accords-cadres internationaux par certaines fédérations syndicales internationales et un nombre grandissant d’entreprises multinationales constitue l’un des développements récents les plus marquants dans le domaine de la régulation internationale du travail.  Ces accords-cadres visent à remédier à certaines lacunes des codes de conduite, notamment le caractère unilatéral de ces codes, c’est-à-dire  l’absence de participation des travailleurs dans leur développement et leur mise en œuvre.  Ils ont comme objectif premier de promouvoir le respect des droits fondamentaux des travailleurs proclamés par la Déclaration de 1998 de l’Organisation internationale du Travail (OIT).  Quels sont les défis reliés à la mise en œuvre de ces instruments normatifs privés dans les chaînes globales de production des entreprises signataires?  Quelles sont les avancées observées quant aux droits syndicaux et à la protection des droits fondamentaux des travailleurs?  Ce sont ces deux questions qui seront au centre de cette présentation sur les accords-cadres internationaux.


Maximiliano NAGL GARCEZ (Legal Advisor, Partido dos Trabalhadores, Brazil)
Workplace Citizenship: Combating the Human Rights Violations by Transnationals

Abstract

Workplace relations in developing countries are characterized as being traditionally authoritarian. But severe violation of human rights in the workplace can also be found in the most developed countries, and therefore modern society is finding itself faced with a sad reality: a universal situation of the vulnerability and fragility of human rights in the workplace.

Through the weakening of state institutions and the corresponding strengthening of the economic power spheres within the context of globalization, the survival of democracy in everyday life is threatened by transnational corporations, especially considering the lack of instruments to appropriately punish them. The human rights movement in Brazil has focused on the violation of human rights perpetrated by governments, yet it has not been so critical or outspoken regarding violations committed by major corporations. Defending the implementation of human rights in the workplace is an effort to counteract the dehumanization of worker-citizens by giving them more space for self-determination. It is essential that the principle of human dignity, already enshrined in the Brazilian Constitution, becomes one of the main pillars of Labour and Employment Law. The article analyzes some of the most appropriate tools used to tackle the above mentioned problems.


Workshop 5.5

Multi-Level Governance in Local Labour Markets: Public or Private, Local or Global?

Charlotte YATES (McMaster University, Canada)
Holly GIBBS (McMaster University, Canada)
Disorganized Governance or Multi-Level Regulation?

Abstract

A framework that conceptualizes current labour market changes in terms of the extent of regulation or deregulation cannot capture the complexities of contemporary labour market change in North America, and its implications for the politics of labour market policy. Conceiving of labour market change on an axis of regulation/deregulation fails to account for the political spatial shifts in rule setting, whether upwards to the supra-national level or downwards to the sub-national level, as well as a re-ordering of relations between the public and private spheres in determining labour market conditions.

Drawing upon the growing European literature on multi-level governance, this paper undertakes a re-mapping of the sites of labour market governance in Canada in an attempt to answer the questions of ‘what or who is governing the labour market and where?’. We conclude that in response to global competitive pressures, the drive to achieve labour flexibility and the declining power of unions, labour market governance in Canada has shifted from being the exclusive domain of governments to involving a proliferation of private and public actors at multiple scales.  In contrast to the European system of coordinated multi-level governance, what has emerged is a form of disorganized governance characterized by regulatory competition and overlap and a lack of accountability, transparency  and representativeness in rule-making and policy development.


Brandynn HOLGATE (University of Massachusetts, USA)
Anneta ARGYRES (University of Massachusetts, USA)
Susan MOIR (University of Massachusetts, USA)
Creating Better Jobs: How Public Policies Impact Workforce Intermediaries in Greater Boston

Abstract

Economic restructuring brought about by global competition, technological change and deregulation has put new emphasis on labor market intermediation. However, little is known about how worker-centered organizations develop strategies for intermediation and impact the quality of jobs.  Using Greater Boston as an example, we will be presenting our findings from a series of interviews with unions, worker-centers, and workforce development organizations.  The presentation will be focused on how these organizations develop intermediation strategies, access employers, influence job quality and the challenges they face in creating substantive change in the workplace that ultimately advance and improve conditions for workers.

Paper



Christophe GUITTON (Centre d'études et de recherche sur les qualifications – CEREQ, France)
L'État et la réforme du marché du travail en France : un bouleversement des cadres sociaux et territoriaux de l'intervention publique

Abstract

Depuis quinze ans, sous la double influence économique de la mondialisation et politique de la construction européenne, les gouvernements français successifs ont engagé une réforme en profondeur des politiques du marché du travail. L’accélération des réformes au cours de la période 2000-2007 se traduit par une redistribution des rôles entre l’Etat, les collectivités territoriales et les partenaires sociaux en matière d’emploi, de formation et d’insertion. Ces réformes s’inscrivent dans un projet politique d’inspiration libérale visant à accélérer la transition d’une gestion dite administrée de l’emploi (étatique et centralisée) vers des formes de régulation par le marché faisant une place accrue aux acteurs économiques et sociaux et aux niveaux intermédiaires. Ce faisant, elles participent d’un triple mouvement de fond, dans le sens de la régionalisation (relance de la décentralisation, montée du niveau régional), de l’affirmation de l’autonomie collective des partenaires sociaux (primauté du contrat sur la loi, rénovation du dialogue social et du paritarisme) et de la libéralisation du marché du travail (ouverture du service public de l’emploi et du placement aux opérateurs privés et à la concurrence). Engagées de manière multiforme, sans que la cohérence d’ensemble soit toujours assurée, ces réformes suscitent de nombreuses interrogations quant aux raisons du repositionnement de l’Etat et à ses conséquences immédiates : segmentation accrue entre action sociale et emploi, balkanisation des politiques d’intervention sur le marché du travail, dilution du service public de l’emploi. En quelques années, la France est passée d’un système décentralisé/déconcentré (pilotage par l’Etat central, mise en œuvre par l’Etat local) à un système décentralisé/polycentrique (multiplication des centres de décision et des niveaux d’intervention, différenciation généralisée de l’action publique), ce qui pose dans des termes renouvelés la question de la gouvernance du marché du travail, mais également les questions de l’égalité de traitement et de l’intérêt général, et du rôle de l’Etat dans leur garantie. 

Paper

Powerpoint Presentation



Brandon RAMA VAIDYANATHAN (HEC Montreal, Canada)
Globalization and Indian Call Centres: Public Policy Implications

Abstract

The proliferation of offshore call centres in India is no doubt one of the strangest new developments entailed by the 'flattening' of the world--at least according to Tom Friedman's version of globalization. The image of such 'levelling' or homogenization, though, could give us a misleading picture of a reality that might be more akin to a curious, hybrid 'protrusion' on the global landscape. Indeed, the phenomenon of young Indians flocking in droves to work 'graveyard shifts,' trained in foreign accents in order to cater to sales and customer service calls of US and UK customers, is in many ways remarkably peculiar and unique.

In this presentation, based on 3 months of in-depth interviews with call centre workers in Bangalore, I hope to give a sense of some of these particularities of the Indian Call Centre phenomenon, many of which have gone strangely unnoticed in the extant research on the subject. Beginning with a very brief overview of the literature on call centre work (most of which is based in the UK), I will present the pertinent elements of my study in India along four dimensions: 1. The call centre labour process, 2. Call Centre management in India, 3. Impact on workers' lifestyles, and 4. Tensions with Indian society and ethos.

Based on the above, I will address important public policy concerns, as well as some possible future initiatives (including a tentative action plan developed over the course of a recent conference I helped organize around this issue), which can hopefully lead to some fruitful discussion.