Privatization of Public Services: Impacts for Employment, Working Conditions, and Service Quality in Europe

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Christoph Hermann, Jörg Flecker
Routledge, 2012 - Business & Economics - 213 pages
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Public services throughout Europe have undergone dramatic restructuring processes in recent years in connection with liberalization and privatization. While evaluations of the successes of public services have focused on prices and efficiency, much less attention has been paid to the impacts of liberalization and privatization on employment, labor relations, and working conditions. This book addresses this gap by illustrating the ways in which liberalization has contributed to increasing private and foreign ownership of public services, the decentralization of labor relations has amplified pressure on wages, and decreasing employment numbers and increasing workloads have improved productivity partly at the cost of service quality.

Examining diverse public-service sectors including network industries, public transportation, and hospitals, and using international case studies, Privatization of Public Services covers a wide range of aspects of service provision, with particular emphasis on companies and workers. The result is a unique picture of the changes created by the liberalization processes in Europe.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The Process of Liberalisation Privatisation and Marketisation
6
Company Responses in the Electricity Sector and Consequences for Employment
33
Fragmentation and Deterioration of Employment Conditions in Postal Services
55
5 Outsourcing Competitive Tendering and Changing Working Conditions in Local Public Transport
74
6 Hospitals under Growing Pressure from Marketisation and Privatisation
89
7 Company Responses to Liberalisation and Privatisation and Consequences for Employment and Working Conditions
109
8 Privatisation and the Impact on Employment
124
9 Privatisation and the Impact on Labour Relations
136
10 The Struggle for Public Services
153
Results from a CrossCountry Survey
169
Impacts of Public Service Liberalisation and Privatisation
192
Contributors
207
Index
211
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About the author (2012)

Christoph Hermann is a senior researcher at FORBA, the Working Life Research Centre in Vienna and a lecturer at the Department of Government, University of Vienna.

Jörg Flecker is the scientific director of FORBA, the Working Life Research Centre in Vienna and an external professor of the University of Vienna (Faculty of Economics and Business Studies).

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