Labor unions & industrial relations in post-communist transition

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Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 12:16:52 -0800
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Subject: Labor unions & industrial relations in post-communist transition

From: MINELRES moderator  <>

Original sender:   Wim van Meurs <>

Labor unions & industrial relations in post-Communist transition

Labor Unions and Industrial Relations
in the States of Post-Communist Transformation

The Otto Brenner Foundation

The Otto Brenner Foundation is the academic foundation of the IG Metall,
named after the first president of the industrial union IG Metall. Apart
from its activities in Germany related to the reconciliation between East-
and West-Germany, in recent years the Foundation has increasingly engaged
in the developmental problems of labor unions and industrial relations in
the countries of post-communist transformation. The goals of these new
activities by the Foundation consist of scientific research and public
relations concerning the development of democratic labor relations,
understanding of nations, social justice, conditions of employment, and
environmental protection.

Project: "The Current State and the Developmental Perspectives of Labor
Unions and Industrial Relations"

As part of its activities in Eastern Europe the Foundation plans a larger
conference in Berlin in 1999 entitled "The Current State and the
Developmental Perspectives of Labor Unions and Industrial Relations." This
conference will bring together leading representatives of the new labor
unions in the different states to discuss experiences and exchange views on
the typical dilemmas of the unions' role in times of transformation and the
transition to a market economy. German experts in the field and academic
experts from the states of post-communist transformation will also take
part in this conference.

Experts in the Countries of Post-Communist Transformation

In preparation for the larger conference in 1999, the Foundation organizes
a smaller four-day seminar for academic experts from the transformation
states in Berlin in October 1998. The goal of this seminar is twofold:
Firstly, the setting up of a network of academic experts and institutes in
the transformation states with a competence in issues of labor union
politics and industrial relations and, secondly, the formulation of a
conceptual framework for the 1999 conference. Proposals for themes and
sessions are welcome. So far, possible topics include:
* The industrial unions and (hidden) unemployment
* The shifting functions of the labor unions
* The privatization and restructuring of communist industrial complexes
* Market economy and collective bargaining: wage policies and the
modernization pact
* Organized workers and the legacy of the state unions
* Industrial unions and the integration in an all-European market economy
* A social market economy, competitiveness, and the labor unions
* Innovation and industrial policies
* Capital market or state subvention
* Solidarity and social security
* The setting up of democratic union structures and organizational reform
* The labor unions and their relations to political parties
* Globalization and international competition
* The international movement of labor unions
* More jobs or more environmental protection
* The European Union and its eastern enlargement
* The national economy and foreign investment


The Foundation would be grateful for any help in setting up its network and
in establishing contact with the relevant academic institutes and/or union
representatives. Please feel free to contact us or to forward this brochure
and call-for-papers to anyone who might be interested.


The Otto Brenner Foundation invites academic researchers (political and
social scientists, law specialists, economists, etc.) and academic
institutes in Eastern Europe and the FSU to apply for participation in the
preparatory semenar. The selection criteria are - apart from a working
knowledge of German and/or English (the official languages of the
conference, although adding Russian is an option) - a strong profile and
competencies in the field of labor union politics and industrial relations.
Please send your application for the October 1998 expert conference (incl.
a curriculum vitae and a list or copies of relevant publications) to:

Michael Guggemos / Dr. Wim van Meurs
Berlin bureau
Alte Jakobstrae 149
D-10969 Berlin

For more information, please contact:

Tel. +49-30-8348668 or +49-30-25396010
Fax +49-30-25396011 or +49-30-8348668

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