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Collective bargaining practices in Eastern Europe: Case study evidence from Romania

  • Trif, Aurora
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    There are several studies on recent developments in collective bargaining in Eastern Europe, but there is still a debate about the extent to which collective bargaining practices resemble those in continental Western Europe. This paper aims to contribute to this debate, by examining primary data on collective bargaining practices in Romania using an actor-centred institutionalist approach. It focuses on collective bargaining in four large chemical companies. Comparisons are made to other countries in order to highlight the developments in Romanian cases. Unexpectedly, the study's findings point to an increase in state intervention in establishing the terms and conditions of employment after 1989, due to the state's new roles during the transformation process that affected job security. The study suggests a considerable increase in the influence of top managers in determining pay and working conditions, while trade unions retained the considerable influence over social benefits in large companies. The findings show continuance of certain pre-1989 practices, such as a persistence of high state intervention and a limited independence of the trade unions from the management. This paper contributes to a deeper understanding of institutional changes in the context of a shift from a centrally planned economy to a market-based economy.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Working Paper with number 05/9.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgw:p0069
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    1. Ebbinghaus, Bernhard, 2005. "Can Path Dependence Explain Institutional Change? Two Approaches Applied to Welfare State Reform," MPIfG Discussion Paper 05/2, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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