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Thesis defended by Ms Marion Emeras - under the supervision of Therese Aubert-monpeyssen (IRDEIC)
on the October 25, 2013
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Thesis defended : The social democracy in the company after 2008

The social democracy in the company after 2008

Abstract :

The 20th August 2008 Law reforms the social democracy to reinforce the trade unions’ legitimacy and that of the collective agreements they sign. In order to do this, the reform modifies the representativeness’ criteria and the collective agreements’ validity conditions. It contains some measures serving that purpose. The newest are those which dedicate the electoral audience as a decisive representativeness’ criteria and those which impose to fulfil all the criteria at once to estimate the trade unions’ representativeness. These new steps have different consequences. Among the most important, from now on, representativeness is measured from the companies and not by the authorities. So, the “irrefragable” (which can’t be contested) presumption of representativeness is doomed to disappear on short-term. Moreover, the 20th August Law allows the subcontractors to participate to the professional elections under some conditions, which raises lot of juridical and practical issues. The reform makes some meaningful changes. However, it is pertinent to ask if it helps to champion social democracy. Is the choice of a representativeness reform focused on the trade unions’ legitimacy relevant? Indeed, this reform aims to reinforce the trade unions’ legitimacy, particularly with the introduction of the audience criteria. However it has raised several practical difficulties and litigations which imply that maybe the text must be revised. Furthermore, introducing the audience criteria, the 20th August Law could cause a politicization of the professional relations and elections: in order to reinforce the trade unions’ legitimacy, it ensures a closer link with the democratic elections system as we know it in France for other institutions. The examination of all these elements reveals that the real issue raised by the reform is not only about the trade unions’ representativeness or their legitimacy, but about the question of the division of competences between the Social Partners and the legislator, in other words, it’s about the autonomy of the Social Partners: which flexibility could we provide them with to establish standards in domains traditionally reserved for the legislator? In this case, how is it possible to articulate law and collective agreements? Does it necessarily need a constitutional revision? The research for solutions brings us to note that similar issues exist in Europe. However, different mechanisms are implemented. It’s interesting to search for some tools at this scale, which could be exploited to facilitate the development of social dialogue in France, or even solve the issues linked to the trade unions’ standard setting-role in the company or in laws elaboration.

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Additional information


ISBN13 978-2-84934-176-6
Title La démocratie sociale dans l'entreprise après la loi du 20 août 2008
Preface of M. Franck Petit
Publication date 03/2015
Pages 596
Editor : Mare & Martin


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