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Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-15-2022

Publication Citation

29 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 163 (2022)

Abstract

This article proposes a policy project, centered around coordinated collective bargaining at the European Union level, to redistribute income towards low-wage workers in post-crisis Europe. It suggests we allow labor unions in sectors employing low-wage workers to present common wage demands across sectors and EU Member States. It shows that this would make union wage increases less harmful to workers and consumers than under uncoordinated sectoral bargaining, while coming more directly at the expense of managers and investors. The article then describes existing EU legal institutions that although they do not quite amount to the policy proposed here constitute useful precedents for it. These institutions are European social dialogue, European Works Councils, and European Framework Agreements bargained for by multinational firms and worker representatives. The article also discusses doctrines of EU competition and internal market law that could potentially be held to prohibit European cross-sectoral collective bargaining coordination. The article lays out arguments in favor of finding such coordination lawful, so that it may form part of the EU's policy arsenal to address wrenching economic inequalities worsened by the ongoing economic and health crises.

Available for download on Monday, February 15, 2027

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