This chapter explores the dynamics and emerging dimensions of conflicts at work in one of the new capitalist economies of Central and Eastern Europe, namely Poland. Critical labour studies in the first decade of transformation have focused upon the weakness of organized labour as the result of neo–liberal transformation and the legacies of communist and postcommunist unionism (Crowley 2004, Ost 2005, Bohle and Greskovits 2006). However, as demonstrated by a number of studies (Hardy 2009, Hardy and Kozek 2011, Meardi 2000), the general assertion of union passivity does not fully capture the reality of conflict at work in the course of capitalist neo–liberal transformation. First, it is based on the analysis of union–led, organized forms of worker resistance (such as strikes and collective disputes) and underplays other forms of conflict at work, including the various types of misbehaviour and dissent in the workplace (Collinson and Ackroyd 2006). Second, the assertion about the durability of cultural and structural factors impeding worker resistance makes it difficult to explain the emergence of new conflicts at work by the end of the 2000s. The latter involved the rapid growth of strike levels in 2007–2008 and the development of a more assertive labour unionism in the public sector and some multinational companies (Hardy and Kozek 2011, Meardi 2007a).
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- Conflicts at Work in Poland’s New Capitalism: Worker Resistance in a Flexible Work Regime
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