De-constitutionalising collective labour rights: the case of Greece

Katsaroumpas, Ioannis (2018) De-constitutionalising collective labour rights: the case of Greece. Industrial Law Journal, 47 (4). pp. 465-503. ISSN 0305-9332

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Since 2010, multiple waves of EU/IMF-imposed legislative reforms have led to extensive deregulation or ‘de-construction’ of Greek collective labour law. While there are many accounts of the Greek reforms, no systematic attention has been devoted to the following paradox: how is such a de-construction possible, in a jurisdiction enjoying a strong domestic constitutionalisation of labour rights, and apparently observing multiple transnational collective labour rights, derived from the CFREU, ECHR, and ILO Conventions? This article sets out to investigate the constitutional dynamics behind the process termed here as ‘de-constitutionalisation’ of collective labour rights. It seeks to add two contributions to the existing literature. Firstly, taking its cue from Eric Tucker’s mapping of multi-level ‘capital’ and ‘labour’ constitutions developed in the Canadian context, it suggests that the Greek case of de-constitutionalisation is the cumulative result of a specific configuration of interactions between ‘aggressive’ EU-IMF conditionality at the level of transnational capital rights, and ‘defensive’ articulation of labour rights at domestic and transnational levels. As will be seen, these interactions disguise an asymmetric clash between a strong constutionalisation of capital rights at transnational level, and a weak constitutionalisation of labour rights at both transnational and domestic levels. Secondly, the article projects the Greek case onto the broader constitutionalisation debate, which questions the desirability of constitutionalising collective labour rights as an effective response to neo-liberal policies and laws. While submitting that the Greek developments support the sceptical side of this debate, especially by providing a continental European confirmation of Tucker’s thesis, the article offers several new reflections of relevance to the constitutionalisation debate.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law > KJ Europe
Depositing User: Ioannis Katsaroumpas
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 10:26
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2018 12:15

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