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N° 165 (avril 2019)

English Abstracts

Germany - The Place of Refugees in Society: A Heated Debate Reflecting Social Divisions

Adelheid HEGE

Though Germany has seen a significant drop in asylum requests since 2017, the place of refugees in German society remains contentious. The article seeks to outline the administrative and social status of recent humanitarian migrants. Despite the complexity of the process, studies have shown how civic alliances including businesses, charities, and volunteer organisations have promoted integration. Yet against the backdrop of increasingly solid support for the xenophobic Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party in the parliamentary landscape, the political debate is struggling to look beyond the problems of human migration and its supposed threat to national cohesion. Some union activists are also susceptible to xenophobic discourse. The leitmotif of intrusion seems designed to unite the animosity arising from feelings of material and cultural loss in various quarters, particularly in the former East Germany.

Germany - Partnership without Conflict? Conflict without Partnership? A Debate on the State of Professional Relations


Until the 1990s, the German professional relations system was good enough to serve as a model for other countries. But for some years now, a number of voices have spoken out about its increasing irrelevance as a model. The system’s apparent institutional stability has masked numerous changes that have led some to claim that it is now fully on the path to neoliberalism. The article looks back at the terms of the debate among a group of German researchers specialising in professional relations.

United Kingdom - Trade Unions and Online Platforms


The United Kingdom has seen conflicts fought by online platform employees that have had a major impact. Yet trade unions have found it extremely hard to organise a heterogeneous professional category with imprecise boundaries and an unclear legal status. Their demands so far have led to progress in the recognition of individual rights that, though significant, remains fragile. They have made little headway, however, in obtaining the recognition of collective rights, particularly the right to collective bargaining.

Norway and Scandinavia - How Have Social Partners Reacted to the Development of Online Platforms?

Kristin JESNES

This article focuses principally on platforms that provide a remunerated activity for a large number of individuals. Who are these individuals in the Norwegian workplace? What characterises their labour activity? How have the social partners and government reacted and responded to the development of such platforms?

North America - The North American Solidarity Project: A New Step?

Christian DUFOUR

Several Canadian and American trade unions, including Unifor, UE, and NNU, are planning a new type of union alliance, joining forces with Mexican and Australian organisations. At a conference in November in Ontario they verified that they shared the same militant, class, and grass-roots vision of their union action. This makes them unique in the American union sphere, where long-standing international alliances are often conflictual. They kept up their contact in early 2019, working on a fledgling joint working programme.