WHAT RECOVERY FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS?
Industrial Relations in Europe Conference 2021
Scuola Normale Superiore
Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 16-17 September 2021
Mixed format: 16 September online and 17 September in person (with streaming for online participants - see programme below)
The on-site conference will start with a reception and dinner at 6pm on the 16th; the fees include reception and dinner on the first day and lunch on the second. On-site participants should familiarise themselves with travel regulations to Italy and will be required to show a EU Green Pass.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has affected work in an unprecedented way. The International Labour Organisation in 2020 registered a 8.8% fall in worked hours globally, the largest fall on record. If it can be hoped that the contraction will only be temporary, the events of the last year have raised lasting questions on the way we think about work and industrial relations.
The state capacity to intervene rapidly and imperiously in the management of the economy questions the ideas of a state retreat and of unstoppable ‘neoliberal convergence’ (Baccaro and Howell 2017). Radical innovations in social security systems challenge the idea of institutional path dependency. The need for rapid and legitimate decisions about work has given new legitimation to the often dismissed instrument of social dialogue in many countries. At national level as well as in the EU, the established policy consensus on the nature of public debt has been revisited, and the Recovery Plan presents a number of employment policy opportunities. Constraints on movement in the public space, and even to and around the workplace, forces to think new forms of worker socialization, organization and mobilization. The extensive adoption of work from home undermines the work –life distinction and proposes new, deep forms of inequality. The realization that some of the worst treated employees are performing essential jobs for our society calls for rethinking the value of work.
In 2020, the Industrial Relations in Europe Conference had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. In 2021, aware of the importance of keeping up international and comparative research and debates, we make an optimistic but realistic call for a successful conference. It will be held in Florence in presence and on-line.
The choice of the cradle of the Renaissance for our location (precisely, the Scuola Normale Superiore facilities at Palazzo Strozzi) reaffirms this optimistic signal, in the hope that not only recovery, but also a renaissance of work quality and humanistic ideas about work may soon flourish.
Antonella Ceccagno, University of Bologna
Donatella Della Porta, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence
Richard Hyman, London School of Economics, London
Ines Wagner, Institute for Social Research, Oslo
Local organising committee
Guglielmo Meardi, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence
Mario Pianta, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence
Lorenzo Cini, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence
Franca Alacevich, University of Florence
Luigi Burroni, University of Florence
David Natali, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa
Gemma Scalise, University of Bergamo
Thursday 16 September (on-site)
9:00-11:00 Pre-conference meeting with Italian trade unionists and activists on work restructuring in pandemic times
13:00 - 14:00 Opening plenary session (online)
14:15 - 15:45 Parallel sessions (online)
16:00 - 17:30 Parallel sessions (online)
17:45 - 19:15 Parallel sessions (online)
19:15 Reception, Palazzo Strozzi
20:30 Conference dinner, Trattoria Lo Stracotto
Friday 17th September
9:00 - 11:00 Parallel sessions (onsite - streamed)
11:30 - 13:30 Parallel sessions (onsite -streamed)
13:30 Lunch (lunch boxes, Palazzo Strozzi)
15:00 - 16:30 Final plenary session (onsite - streamed)