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An Old Model in a New Time - The growing of the precariat and the decline of the Swedish model. A critical analysis of Lex Laval

Blomberg, Fredrik LU (2015) JURM02 20151
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I sin teori om prekariatet ger Guy Standing sin syn på den rådande arbetsmarknaden där fler och fler människor lever under osäkra arbetsförhållanden. Enligt honom är det konsekvenserna av en politik som har sett rörlighet på marknaden som svaret på ekonomiska problem. Vid problem har politikerna försvagat de kollektiva organisationerna och försämrat anställningstrygghet med mera för arbetstagarna. Arbetsmarknaden har också påverkats mycket av att allt fler människor jobbar någon annanstans än i sina hemländer. Migranterna är ofta både en del av orsaken till prekariatet och de i prekariatet som får känna av konsekvenserna som mest. Eftersom arbetslösheten är hög i de flesta länder kommer migranterna ofta till länder där det saknas jobb. De... (More)
I sin teori om prekariatet ger Guy Standing sin syn på den rådande arbetsmarknaden där fler och fler människor lever under osäkra arbetsförhållanden. Enligt honom är det konsekvenserna av en politik som har sett rörlighet på marknaden som svaret på ekonomiska problem. Vid problem har politikerna försvagat de kollektiva organisationerna och försämrat anställningstrygghet med mera för arbetstagarna. Arbetsmarknaden har också påverkats mycket av att allt fler människor jobbar någon annanstans än i sina hemländer. Migranterna är ofta både en del av orsaken till prekariatet och de i prekariatet som får känna av konsekvenserna som mest. Eftersom arbetslösheten är hög i de flesta länder kommer migranterna ofta till länder där det saknas jobb. De bidrar på så sätt till lönekonkurrensen.

I Sverige har fackförbunden sett till att lönekonkurrensen har hållits nere genom att driva igenom kollektivavtal med stridsåtgärder. 2004 försökte Byggnads genom en blockad tvinga fram kollektivavtal med det lettiska byggföretaget Laval un Partneri. Laval ansåg att det rådde fredsplikt då de redan var bundna av ett kollektivavtal i Lettland och bestred stridsåtgärderna. Arbetsdomstolen begärde in ett förhandsavgörande från EU-domstolen som gick på Lavals linje. Domstolen fastslog att det är diskriminerande att fackförbund får vidta stridsåtgärden gentemot utländska företag som redan har kollektivavtal.

Sverige tvingades således att ändra sin lagstiftning. Den nya lagstiftningen innebar att om företag som utstationerar arbetskraft tillämpar villkor som är lika förmånliga som minimi-kraven i Sverige råder det fredsplikt.

Effekten av lagstiftningen har blivit att den svenska arbetsmarknaden är öppen för lönekonkurrens. Det har också inneburit att fackförbunden blivit rejält försvagade i förhållande till utländska företag som utstationerar arbetskraft i Sverige. Lagförslag finns om att införa ett strikt entreprenörsansvar för arbetstagare hos samtliga underentreprenörer, samt en förbättrad information om de svenska förhållandena till utländska företag som vill etablera sig i Sverige.

Frågeställningen för uppsatsen är om Lex Laval bidrar till skapandet av ett prekariat och, om så är fallet, om de nya lagförslagen ändrar på detta. Slutsatsen i uppsatsen är att Lex Laval främjar ekonomiska intressen före rättigheter på arbetsmarknaden, försvagar fackförbunden, öppnar för osund konkurrens mellan arbetstagare och behandlar utländska arbetare som andra klassens arbetare. Allt detta bidrar till prekariatet och frågan måste därför besvaras jakande. Lagförslagen kan förbättra detta, men räcker inte för att vända trenden. (Less)
Abstract
In his theory of the precariat Guy Standing gives his view on the current labour market where more and more people has precarious working situations. According to him it is the consequence of a policy that has seen movability on the labour market as the answer to economical problems. At troubled times the politicians have weakened the unions and worsened the employment securities for the workers. The labour market has also been affected by the fact that more and more people are working in another country than their own. The migrants are often both a cause to the growing of the precariat, and those in it that are mostly affected by the consequences. Since the unemployment is high in many countries, the migrants often come to countries where... (More)
In his theory of the precariat Guy Standing gives his view on the current labour market where more and more people has precarious working situations. According to him it is the consequence of a policy that has seen movability on the labour market as the answer to economical problems. At troubled times the politicians have weakened the unions and worsened the employment securities for the workers. The labour market has also been affected by the fact that more and more people are working in another country than their own. The migrants are often both a cause to the growing of the precariat, and those in it that are mostly affected by the consequences. Since the unemployment is high in many countries, the migrants often come to countries where there is a lack of jobs. In that way they contribute to wage competition.

In Sweden the unions have kept the wage competition in check by using collective action to make companies sign collective agreements. In 2004 Byggnads, the union for construction workers, used a blockade to try to force the Latvian construction company Laval un Partneri to sign a collective agreement. Laval claimed that this was against the rules of collective peace since they had already signed a collective agreement in Latvia, and brought the case to the labour court. The labour court requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice, which agreed with Laval and stated that it is discriminatory if the unions can use collective action against foreign companies that has existing collective agreements.

Sweden was forced to change their legislation. The new legislation states that if a foreign company that is posting workers in Sweden live up to the minimum employment conditions in Sweden, it is unlawful for the unions to take action against them.

The effect of the legislation has been that the Swedish labour market now is open to wage competition. It has also meant that the unions have been weakened towards the foreign companies posting workers in Sweden. There is a proposed change in the legislation of a strict responsibility for all workers of sub-contractors. There is also a proposal regarding better access to information for foreign companies on employment conditions.

The research question of the thesis is if Lex Laval contributes to the creation of a precariat and, if that is the case, the proposed changes can reverse the trend. The conclusion in the thesis is that Lex Laval favours economic interests over rights on the labour market, weakens the unions, open up for an unhealthy competition between workers and treat foreign workers as second-class workers. All this contributes to the growing of the precariat and the question must therefore be answered positive. The proposed legislative changes might improve this, but are not enough to reverse the trend. (Less)
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author
Blomberg, Fredrik LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
arbetsrätt, labour law, EU-rätt, EU-law, Precariat, Swedish model
language
English
id
5434737
date added to LUP
2015-10-08 14:12:27
date last changed
2015-10-08 14:12:27
@misc{5434737,
  abstract     = {In his theory of the precariat Guy Standing gives his view on the current labour market where more and more people has precarious working situations. According to him it is the consequence of a policy that has seen movability on the labour market as the answer to economical problems. At troubled times the politicians have weakened the unions and worsened the employment securities for the workers. The labour market has also been affected by the fact that more and more people are working in another country than their own. The migrants are often both a cause to the growing of the precariat, and those in it that are mostly affected by the consequences. Since the unemployment is high in many countries, the migrants often come to countries where there is a lack of jobs. In that way they contribute to wage competition.

In Sweden the unions have kept the wage competition in check by using collective action to make companies sign collective agreements. In 2004 Byggnads, the union for construction workers, used a blockade to try to force the Latvian construction company Laval un Partneri to sign a collective agreement. Laval claimed that this was against the rules of collective peace since they had already signed a collective agreement in Latvia, and brought the case to the labour court. The labour court requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice, which agreed with Laval and stated that it is discriminatory if the unions can use collective action against foreign companies that has existing collective agreements.

Sweden was forced to change their legislation. The new legislation states that if a foreign company that is posting workers in Sweden live up to the minimum employment conditions in Sweden, it is unlawful for the unions to take action against them.

The effect of the legislation has been that the Swedish labour market now is open to wage competition. It has also meant that the unions have been weakened towards the foreign companies posting workers in Sweden. There is a proposed change in the legislation of a strict responsibility for all workers of sub-contractors. There is also a proposal regarding better access to information for foreign companies on employment conditions.

The research question of the thesis is if Lex Laval contributes to the creation of a precariat and, if that is the case, the proposed changes can reverse the trend. The conclusion in the thesis is that Lex Laval favours economic interests over rights on the labour market, weakens the unions, open up for an unhealthy competition between workers and treat foreign workers as second-class workers. All this contributes to the growing of the precariat and the question must therefore be answered positive. The proposed legislative changes might improve this, but are not enough to reverse the trend.},
  author       = {Blomberg, Fredrik},
  keyword      = {arbetsrätt,labour law,EU-rätt,EU-law,Precariat,Swedish model},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {An Old Model in a New Time - The growing of the precariat and the decline of the Swedish model. A critical analysis of Lex Laval},
  year         = {2015},
}