Trade Union responses to the crisis: What options for solidarity?

University House - Room 204
Wednesday 2 March 2016 (14:00-15:00)

Michele Donovan:

Speaker: Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick  (Birbeck, University of London) and Professor Emeritus Richard Hyman (LSE)

In much of Europe, the social rights and social protections won by labour movements in the mid twentieth century have subsequently been seriously eroded, and are further threatened by neoliberal austerity. Efforts to resist have been largely unsuccessful. In this presentation we discuss the diverse national experiences of crisis, the policies of the official international trade union organisations, and a variety of national efforts to respond to the challenges of austerity and neoliberalism. We find that there have been positive efforts to achieve cross-national solidarity, and we end with some modest proposals.

Richard Hyman is Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics and founding editor of the European Journal of Industrial Relations. He also founded and coordinates the annual Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC). He has written extensively on the themes of industrial relations, trade unionism, industrial conflict and labour market policy, and is author of a dozen books as well as some two hundred journal articles and book chapters. His comparative study Understanding European Trade Unionism: Between Market, Class and Society is widely cited by scholars working in this field. His latest book, Trade Unions in Western Europe: Hard Times, Hard Choices (with Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick), addresses resistance to neoliberalism and austerity.

Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick is a Senior Lecturer in Management at Birkbeck, University London. She is a former official of the International Union of Food and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) and of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), both based in Geneva, and of the British union MSF. She joined Birkbeck in 2002. She has published widely on European and comparative employment relations, trade unionism & race and gender. Her recent book (with Richard Hyman) Trade Unions in Western Europe: Hard Times, Hard Choices was published by Oxford University Press in October 2013.

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