New Social Risk Groups, Industrial Relations Regimes and Union Membership

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The literature on new social risk (NSR) groups, such as single parents and temporary workers, has argued that they are less likely to join trade unions than other employees. It has been suggested that this is due to the unions’ incapacity or unwillingness to promote policies that mediate NSRs. We argue that there are differences in unionization between different NSR groups, and that country-level institutional structures, operationalized here as industrial relations (IR) regimes, have effects on how likely NSR groups are to unionize. Our multilevel logistic models using European Social Survey (ESS) data produce three main results: (1) family policy-related NSR groups (single parents, female employees with children and female caregivers) are more – not less – unionized than the average worker; (2) precarious workers (low-skilled service employees, temporary employees and part-timers) are, indeed, less unionized than average but (3) this result concerns mostly the liberal and transitional IR regimes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Social Policy
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)242-254
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • European Social Survey
  • industrial relations regimes
  • new social risks
  • trade unions
  • union membership
  • unionization
  • democracies
  • countries
  • policies
  • Europe
  • work

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