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Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects:
Trade unions in Europe have showed a mixed response to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and have adopted a broad spectrum of positions on CSR. Prior research has identified five distinct positions of trade unions across Europe by way of which some of the unions perceive CSR as a threat, some are sceptical about the fact that whether CSR could deliver, yet others champion the cause of CSR, whereas two other categories of which some are disillusioned and others lack knowledge regarding CSR. This spectrum of positions raises the question whether we are going to witness a convergence of union positions over the medium term. The proposed research analyzes the positions adopted by trade unions in Europe. On the basis of this analysis, it tries to explain various strategies adopted by trade unions. The key argument is that the whole process is linked to neoliberalism. The outcome of neoliberal approach is deregulation, not only of financial market, but labour market as well. Withdrawal of state from regulation of businesses has created a vacuum. There is a vacuum of regulation at the national level and there are inadequate governance mechanisms available at the global level. Businesses have tried to fill this vacuum by engaging in CSR. Trade unions are apprehensive of CSR due to its voluntary nature; greenwashing; questionable nature of CSR tools including audits, awards, an attempt to replace binding rules; and some see CSR as a threat because there is evidence that adoption of CSR as an alternative to binding regulations has hampered trade union power. Simultaneously, to increase their influence in dealing with the businesses, trade unions want to use the opportunities offered by CSR to gain maximum benefits out of it. Trade unions see similarities in company CSR agenda with trade union agenda. There are trade unions that are progressing CSR agenda. To couple their efforts at the national level, trade unions are trying to develop some supranational regulatory institutions and development of IFAs is an evidence of that. An attempt has been made to provide evidence from the data collected for this study to interpret trade union responses in the light of hypotheses developed in this study. The dominant paradigm employed for the present study would be interpretivist/qualitative. The reason for preference of interpretivism over the other with relation to the present study is that it tries to explain strategy. The process of strategy formulation is difficult to capture with entirely quantitative approach. There is a lot of brainstorming at the union management level to adopt a certain strategy and to get a handle on how a specific strategy is adopted, it is easy to explain using an interpretive approach. Doctoral level research is meant to make original contribution towards the existing body of knowledge. The present study seeks to contribute original insights from data collected for this study. Prior research had informed us about the trade unions’ principled positions about CSR. The present study analyses the reason why trade unions are getting involved in CSR initiatives by businesses.
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    • 1.1. Outline of the Present Study ...................................................................................9 1.1.1 Aims of Chapter 1.............................................................................................................. 9
    • 1.2. Research Questions and Propositions ............................................................. 10 1: CSR is a product of voluntary regulation by companies. ........................................10 2: The conditions under which trade unions take a reactive/proactive stance. 12 3: The policy implications for trade unions under reactive and/or proactive approaches...................................................................................................................................14
    • 1.3. Origins of CSR............................................................................................................ 16 1.3.1. Anglo-American Origin of CSR...................................................................................16 Table 1: 15 Years of Business-Policy Interaction Driving the CSR Movement ....17 1.3.2. Philanthropic Origins of CSR .....................................................................................20
    • 1.4. CSR Mysticism ........................................................................................................... 23 Figure 1: Four Portions of CSR Pyramid............................................................................25 Figure 2..........................................................................................................................................26 Figure 3: Carroll's CSR Pyramid............................................................................................27 Table 2: Chronological Summary of Contributions by Authors ................................28
    • 1.5. National Institutional Effects............................................................................... 33
    • 1.6. CSR as Business Obligation for Social Betterment....................................... 35 Table 3: Sources of CSR Obligations....................................................................................36
    • 1.7. Theoretical Debates about CSR .......................................................................... 40 1.7.1. Stakeholder Approach to CSR....................................................................................42 1.7.2. Institutional Approach to CSR ...................................................................................45 1.7.3. Economic Approach to CSR.........................................................................................49
    • 1.9. Gaps in Literature.................................................................................................... 75 Table 5: Keyword Search ........................................................................................................78
    • 2.1. Various Methodological Approaches................................................................ 83 2.1.1. Phenomenological Approach.....................................................................................83
    • 2.7. Data Collection Strategy ........................................................................................ 93
    • 2.9. Ethical Considerations........................................................................................... 96
    • 3.1. Justification for Selection of Organisations and Interview Process ...... 98 Table 7: Details of Respondents by Organisation, Designation, Interview ID and Interview Time ...........................................................................................................................98 Table 8: Trade Union Attributes ..........................................................................................99 3.2. Levels of bargaining/Influence ................................................................................. 101
    • 4.1. Criticism of Codes of Conduct by Representatives of Organized Labour
    • 4.2. Trade and Labour Standards.............................................................................175
    • 4.3. Evolution of International Framework Agreements.................................179 Table 13: Break up of IFAs by GUFs ................................................................................. 182 Table 14: Membership, Affiliates and Countries by GUF.......................................... 182
    • 4.4. Aims and Objectives of IFAs...............................................................................183
    • 4.5. What is Meant by IFAs?........................................................................................184
    • 4.7. Nomenclature of International Framework Agreements .......................186 Table 15: Names and Number of Framework Agreements ..................................... 188
    • 4.8. Substantive Provisions of IFAs .........................................................................188 4.8.1. Reference to International Labour Organizations Conventions................ 188 4.8.2. Reference to other International Standards..................................................... 190 Table 16: IFAs and Various Labour Related Standards ............................................ 192 4.8.3. Hours of Work.............................................................................................................. 194 4.8.4. Health and Safety Matters........................................................................................ 194 4.8.5. Training.......................................................................................................................... 195 4.8.6. Environment Issues ................................................................................................... 196 4.8.7. Extension of IFAs to Business Partners .............................................................. 197 Table 17: IFAs and Extension of Provisions to Suppliers and Subcontractors. 198 Table 18: Examples of Strong Language Used in IFAs ............................................... 200 4.8.8. Enforcement ................................................................................................................. 201
    • 5.1. The Impacts of Climate Change on Employment ........................................210 Table 19: Potential direct effects of climate change on economic activity and employment in Europe ......................................................................................................... 212
    • 5.2. The Employment Aspects of Climate Change Adaptation .......................212
    • 5.3. The effects of mitigation on employment .....................................................212
    • 5.4. Is Climate Change a Trade Union Issue?........................................................214
    • 5.5. The Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee
    • (TUSDAC) ..........................................................................................................................218
    • 5.6. Just Transition ........................................................................................................219 5.6.1 Just Transition Package............................................................................................. 220 5.6.2. Major Climate-friendly Investments.................................................................... 221 Table 20. Distribution of Green Jobs by Sector............................................................ 221 5.6.3. Research and Early Assessment of Social and Employment Impacts ...... 222 5.6.4. Social Dialogue and Democratic Consultation of Social Partners and Stakeholders............................................................................................................................. 223 5.6.5. Education and Training ............................................................................................ 224 5.6.6. Social Protection ......................................................................................................... 224
    • 5.8. One Million Climate Jobs .....................................................................................227 5.8.1. Conditions Attached to the One Million Climate Jobs .................................... 229 5.8.2. Sustainable Workplaces, Sustainable Jobs ....................................................... 231 5.8.3. Financing One Million Climate Jobs...................................................................... 232 5.8.4. Alternative Financing Opportunities................................................................... 233 5.8.5. Public Sector Cuts ....................................................................................................... 233
    • 5.10. Climate Solidarity Project ................................................................................255
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