Collective Bargaining in the ‘Shadow of Hierarchy’ of Government Policies on Youth Unemployment and Active Aging in the Netherlands: Does It Work?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
H202A (28 rue des Saints-Pères)
Frank Tros , Amsterdam Institute for Advanced labour Studies, University of Amsterdam
One of the key characteristics of the Dutch industrial relations system is that collective bargaining takes place in a strong ‘shadow of hierarchy’ of the state. This paper will analyse the performances in a recent case in the  policy fields of the ’youngest’ and the ‘oldest’ workers, who both have become more vulnerable in the labour market in these times of economic crisis. The Dutch government launched a fund of 600 million Euro’s in 2013 for co-financing of social partners’ sector agreements that aim to measures for the (unemployed) youth ánd preservation of the older workers in the labour market.

This case study is an excellent case in contributing to theoretical and policy debates in neo-corporatism. Firstly, because of his regulative design, including the strong steering roles of the government. Secondly, because of his policy fields: governments, employers and trade unions have not fully synchronized interests and goals regarding youth unemployment and (longer) employment for older workers (55+).

The paper will elaborate on the government’s enabling and hindering factors for collective bargaining to improve the labour market position of younger workers (till 27 years) and older workers (55 years of older). How responsive are social partners to public policies on youth unemployment and active ageing, and vice versa? What can be concluded on the strengths and weaknesses in the performances of neo-corporatism in the Netherlands?

  • Tros CES2015 Intergenerational bargaining in the shadow of the public policy logic in the Netherlands.pdf (221.5 kB)