Employer and Worker Collective Action: A Comparative Study of Germany, South Africa, and the United States

Employer and Worker Collective Action: A Comparative Study of Germany, South Africa, and the United States

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Andrew G. Lawrence
Cambridge University Press, 8/11/2014
EAN 9781107071759, ISBN10: 1107071755

Hardcover, 360 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
Language: English

This book compares sources of worker and employer power in Germany, South Africa, and the United States in order to identify the sources of comparative US decline in union power and to more precisely analyze the nature of labor-movement power. It finds that this power is not confined to allied parties, union confederations, or strikes, but rather consists of the capacity to autonomously translate power from one context to the next. By combining their product, labor market, and labor law advantages through their dominant employers' associations, leading firms are able to impose constraints on labor's free collective bargaining regionally and nationally, defeating employer interests that are more amenable to labor in the process. Through an examination of these patterns of interest organization, the book shows, however, that initial employer advantages prove to be contingent and unstable and that employers are forced to cede to more far-reaching demands of increasingly organized workers.

Part I. Power in Theory and Context
1. Contending theories of labor power
2. Contextualizing workers' power
Part II. Employer Strategy and Collective Action
3. Varieties of firm strategy
monopolization, cartelization, and concentration
4. Varieties of employer associations
origins, development, and divergence
Part III. Workers
Outlaws, in the Law and by the Law
5. Failed incorporation and union response
6. Varieties of juridification
Part IV. From Postwar Golden Quarter Century to Post-Cold War Interlude
7. The golden quarter century
revival, containment, or decline?
8. Union and employer relations after the golden quarter century
Part V. Collective Action before and in the Global Economic Crisis
9. From tripartism to global crisis
10. Conclusion
doing the work of crisis without crisis?