ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations


VOLUME 136, NUMBER 1 1997/1



Labour law reform in Latin America: Between state protection and flexibility, by Arturo S. BRONSTEIN

Since the early 1980s employment relationships in Latin America have undergone significant change under the simultaneous impact of gradual democratization and newly introduced economic liberalism. The latter, in particular, caused disruption to the State's interventionist role which had traditionally extended into the social sphere. After a brief historical survey of labour legislation, the author details the impact on employment relationships of the various reforms in national labour law. Most of these emphasized labour market flexibility, though some extended traditional social protection, and others combined both. He then suggests some possible economic and social consequences.

Labour markets and employment practices in the age of flexibility: A case study of Silicon Valley, by Martin CARNOY, Manuel CASTELLS and Chris BENNER

Flexible employment has accounted for more than half of Silicon Valley's total employment growth in the past ten years. Given the area's trend-setting role in global high-technology production, this pattern is likely to spread. Focusing on temporary employment agencies, the authors show that this and other forms of flexible employment have become a permanent strategy among firms. This may create insecurity for low-skilled workers, but highly skilled workers are using the system to their own advantage - and firms get more labour flexibility than they want.

Atypical employment in the European Union, by Andries DE GRIP, Jeroen HOEVENBERG and Ed WILLEMS

The authors compare the incidence of atypical employment in 11 European countries since 1983. While national proportions of temporary employment appear to be converging, part-time employment shows divergence within some occupational groups. High rates of part-time employment seem to mitigate unemployment, but high proportions of temporary employment coincide with high unemployment. Whereas temporary employment is most prevalent among young workers, part-time employment is highest among women and is correlated with high female participation rates. Estimation results show both forms of employment positively related to the intermediate skill level, with the probability of part-time employment significantly determined by a worker's occupation.

Labour disputes in western Europe: Typology and tendencies, by Maximos ALIGISAKIS

Western Europe has experienced a marked fall in labour disputes over the last 20 years. But is this true everywhere? Has lasting industrial peace set in? In order to measure countries' propensity to strike, the author constructs indicators of the strike rate, rate of days lost, strikers' mobilization and determination, and indices - relative, structural, general. Applying a typology of labour disputes, he finds that they have indeed declined in number, but not in intensity. This implies that disputes will occur more rarely, but be tougher and more difficult for trade unions and political authorities to manage.

Can Alternative Dispute Resolution help resolve employment disputes?, by Arnold M. ZACK

Governments, employers and workers face ever-rising costs and delays in resolving employment disputes. As legislative protection expands and workers become more assertive of their rights, government machinery for dispute resolution is coming under strain. Alternative Dispute Resolution can help, the author argues. In Canada and the United States, it has long been used for settling collective bargaining disputes. Its scope is now broadened in the United States by a new Due Process Protocol for protection of individuals with complaints concerning the application of statute law. The author explains its value - especially great in cases where union representation is lacking.

Perspectives: Parental leave


Updated by MCN. Approved by MFL. Last update: 9 November 1999.