Vulnerable workers, precarious work and the role of trade unions and HRM.

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Journal Article
International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 2013, 24 (22), pp. 4083 - 4093
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This special issue of the International Journal of Human Resource Management was conceived in response to increasing evidence regarding the vulnerability and precariousness associated with long-term economic transformations and globalisation (Standing 2009) and concerns about how they might be addressed. In his book on the growth of non-standard employment arrangements, Standing (2011) identifies a growing class of the `precariat who are stuck in a cycle of short-term and irregular jobs. Worker vulnerability and precarious work have been exacerbated in the medium term by the financial and economic crises that have been provoking widespread restructuring in Europe and the USA (Winterton and Forde 2013). Since the onset of the global financial crisis (GFC), inequalities at work in terms of employment, wages and incomes, working conditions and social dialogue have increased, threatening to halt the progress made in Europe in relation to improved job quality and working conditions (Vaughn-Whitehead 2012). Also, Eurofound (2013) reported that the GFC has led to increased job insecurity and contributed to the rise of non-standard employment shares in some countries. In some countries, such as Ireland, the crisis saw the regulation of controls over short-term employment contracts.
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