Department of Management Fellow Ruth Reaney was invited to speak at the second Midlands Labour and Employment Relations Society (MLERS) meeting in November 2019.
The newly-founded society brings together academics, trade unionists, managers and the general public through monthly meetings in which researchers address the politics and future of work and employment.
Along with her co-author, Geneviève Coderre-Lapalme from the University of Birmingham, Ruth delivered a talk on trade union response to restructuring in public healthcare and the automobile manufacturing industry.
The talk discussed the factors and processes through which trade unions engage in confrontation with employers, identifying the pursuit of legitimacy and power within the organisation and in the eyes of employees as key in influencing trade union behaviour.
"It was a great chance for us to interact with practitioners, academics and the general public," says Ruth. "We enjoyed presenting our research findings to a broad audience, and we also received useful feedback on our work and its practical implications."
Ruth and Geneviève are currently writing a paper comparing confrontational union responses to restructuring in France. The findings of this research indicate that inter-union solidarity yields better outcomes for employees. As such, this research sheds light on how trade unions can better represent employees’ interests during employer-driven restructuring, which has become a central feature of the European business environment in recent decades.
The talk was well-received and stimulated discussion on trade union power and revitalisation, the moral economy and social justice.
Paul Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at University of Birmingham, will speak about the National Living Wage at the next MLERS event on Tuesday 10 December 2019.
Thursday 28 November 2019