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Can labor arrest the “sky pirates”? Transnational trade unionism in the European civil aviation industry

Geriant Harvey, Peter Turnbull

Labor History, Volume: 56, Issue: 3, Pages: 308 - 326

Swansea University Author: Geriant Harvey

Abstract

In a single European aviation market (SEAM) that is open to innovative new business strategies, most notably the (ultra) low cost model developed by Ryanair, non-territorial forms of sovereignty have been used to redefine employment relations, exert control over labor, and extract surplus value. Alt...

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Published in: Labor History
ISSN: 0023-656X 1469-9702
Published: 2015
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa44640
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Abstract: In a single European aviation market (SEAM) that is open to innovative new business strategies, most notably the (ultra) low cost model developed by Ryanair, non-territorial forms of sovereignty have been used to redefine employment relations, exert control over labor, and extract surplus value. Although aviation unions recognize the need to ‘shift scale’ from a predominantly local focus on their national (flag) airline, they have yet to develop effective strategies at the supranational level as low fares airlines continually extend their geographical reach in the open skies over Europe and beyond. Union strategies are considered at different levels (national and EU) as well as the different processes to enact these strategies (technocratic and democratic). Unions need to develop a Euro-democratization strategy if they are to arrest the anti-unionism and social dumping of European ‘sky pirates’ such as Ryanair and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Keywords: low fares airlines, transnational trade unionism
College: School of Management
Issue: 3
Start Page: 308
End Page: 326