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VOICES AT WORK: Legal Effects on Organisation, Representation and Negotiation Professor Tonia Novitz, University of Bristol Dr Alan Bogg, Hertford College,

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Presentation on theme: "VOICES AT WORK: Legal Effects on Organisation, Representation and Negotiation Professor Tonia Novitz, University of Bristol Dr Alan Bogg, Hertford College,"— Presentation transcript:

1 VOICES AT WORK: Legal Effects on Organisation, Representation and Negotiation Professor Tonia Novitz, University of Bristol Dr Alan Bogg, Hertford College, Oxford

2 How did this start? In January 2007, Alan Bogg and I began to engage in very broad discussions relating to a potential book project, considering the ways in which law impacts on worker organisation and forms of bargaining. In 2008, we had devised a title for a project (above), confirmed the interest of participants in academic institutions (including outside the UK), and consulted with RED re the text of our bids for funding and engaged in costings. In July 2008, we put in our first bids, one of which was the preliminary Leverhulme application. With that approved, we submitted a final application in October It was confirmed that we had the grant in March The project commenced on 1 September 2010.

3 What are our research aims? We want to examine: (1)can law be utilised to bring about particular outcomes in industrial relations and (2)should the law be utilised to promote those outcomes? Our project investigates the intersection between law and worker voice in a sample of industrialised English speaking common law countries, namely Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States of America (the target countries). This is interesting because there have been various European studies of this nature (and available funding for these) but little on this cross-section of states who face similar dilemmas and frequently ‘borrow’ legal solutions from each other.

4 The dimensions of our research: organisation, representation, negotiation (1) organisation: the extent to which legal norms have shaped organisational environments in different ways e.g. such as trade union access for workers doing atypical work such as agency or domestic work, or for workers who are otherwise vulnerable such as migrant, ethnic minority, and indigenous workers (2) representation: the current ‘market’ for representation, that is the sociological and economic effects of legal provision made for union recognition, information and consultation, works councils, and social participation in corporate governance (3) negotiation: the ability to engage in negotiation, such as through collective forms of worker participation in corporate governance or more traditional modes of collective bargaining.

5 The first year The website ‘Voices at launched 1 June 2011: events, blog on current events, conference papers, editors from each jurisdiction Two day conference to be held in Oxford July 2011: First day of invited papers on background theoretical issues (e.g. human rights, comparative methodology, constitutionalisation etc.) with promise of publication in the US Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal Second day of workshops (on themes of organisation, representation and negotiation with brief papers from different jurisdictions) Note engagement not only with academics in other jurisdictions (labour law, industrial relations and economics) but also civil society. But so far difficult to get employer representation.

6 The second year Preparation of papers from first day of Oxford conference for publication as journal articles in Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal. Workshop papers and discussions relating to these will form the basis of submission of a formal proposal to Oxford University Press re the edited book. Workshop to be held at Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Toronto, March 2012 Workshop to be held at Monash University, Melbourne, July Will be focused on recent developments in those jurisdictions: a Canadian Supreme Court judgment (Fraser) and new Australian legislation ‘Fair Work Australia’. But also comparative development of themes and cross-cutting papers.

7 The third year Release of policy papers through website – links to International Labour Organisation for dissemination. Submission of edited book for publication Final event to be held to publicise preliminary findings: Bristol and Oxford


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