The project team took the ENTIRE View project to the Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University in September 2019. The theme of the conference was “Transnational Labour Markets and Industrial Relations” organised by Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick of the University of London.
Aarron Toal, Bernd Brandl and Barbara Bechter represented the ENTIRE View project team. Aarron and Bernd gave an expanded presentation of the one delivered at the ESA conference in Manchester a few weeks prior. Titled “Visible and Invisible Hands in the Transnational Wage Setting in Europe” preliminary results were presented and discussed into national trade unions and employer organisations influence to EU confederations and vice-versa, that is the influence of EU confederations on national trade unions and employer organisations.
A key discussion took place on the levels of involvement trade union confederations have in strategic decision making of any European confederation and vice-versa. The findings were presented to show the direction of influence between national trade unions and European confederations. We were able to observe that nearly all national TUs have a moderate influence when it comes to influencing EU confederations (especially Germany who have a strong influence) but the direction from EU confederations to the national level is rather weak. These findings were more or less replicated when it came to employer organisation influence as well, showing strong intent and influence when it comes to labour and business. On average however, EU confederations have less influence.
It was a pleasure to discuss these findings in what wasa rather small conference, but did allow for interdisciplinary researchers to discuss the project in more detail. We thank Rebecca and those at ZIF (the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University) for hosting us.