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CLR Report

CLR Study 1 - EU Enlargement - Construction Labour Relations as a Pilot


Authors: Linda Clarke, Jan Cremers, Jörn Janssen

For admission to the European Union the applicant countries are supposed to comply with the ‘acquis communautaire’ and to promote the Social Dialogue at all levels. This means that in the process of social and labour legislation the social partners have to be consulted and are encouraged to take the initiative themselves or to regulate their relationships by collective agreement. Contrary to this condition for accession to the Union, however, we observe an unceasing disintegration of trade union organisation and a decrease in collective bargaining. Thus, in the applicant countries the Social Dialogue lacks solid underpinning by active industrial relations.
This is the conclusion of a pilot study of industrial relations in the construction sector, co-sponsored by the European Commission and carried out by a team of the European Institute for Construction Labour Research in cooperation with experts of the respective applicant countries.
This publication unites the individual country reports through an analytical framework, which traces the present situation in the six CEE states to the demise of the planned economy. It concludes with recommendations for rebuilding industrial relations in these countries with the cooperation of the social partners from the EU member states.