Link to the University of Pittsburgh
Link to the University Library SystemContact us link
AEI Banner

Portuguese Employment Policy in Times of Crisis: The Increasing Polarisation of Portuguese Trade Unions

Caune, Hélène (2015) Portuguese Employment Policy in Times of Crisis: The Increasing Polarisation of Portuguese Trade Unions. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (343Kb)


    The article presents a case study of the three labor Code reforms implemented in Portugal in the last decade. The analysis focuses on the politicization of the successive reforms of 2003, 2009 and 2012 and addresses the link between specific politicization and Europeanization mechanisms from different perspectives: decision-making processes and agenda-setting, political cleavages and reforms coalitions. Beyond the content of public policies, the article also shows how different actors’ coalitions (governing political parties, trade-unions, peripheral actors) deal with national membership to the EU and how it affects political debates and social protest. If policies do not crucially differ from one partisan government to another, the economic crisis has considerably deepened the polarisation between both Portuguese trade unions (Confederação geral dos trabalhadores portugueses and União geral dos trabalhadores). If the former has been disadvantaged in the policy process it has nevertheless gained popular support as while as labor legislation is getting increasingly flexible. The policy cases under study plea for analysing social reforms in the light of European orientations, an angle that is underestimated in the welfare studies literature. The article reveals an increasingly politicization of the EU influence. In the 2000s (2003 and 2009), successive governments managed to avoid over-politicization of labor legislation reforms. To do so, they set -up academic experts groups to prevent early confrontation and negotiations with and between social partners. In the early 2010s, the economic crisis and the new European pressure of the bailout negotiated with the troika crucially changed the decision-making process; experts groups were not set up, the right-wing government used the terms of the Memorandum to implement difficult social reforms. The politicization of the EU and its influence over national policies is getting more controversial, not among political parties, but among trade-unions.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII (Chicago style) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:
    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Portugal
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > employment/unemployment
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 15:39
    Number of Pages: 28
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 15:39

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads