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Journal Article

The End of Solidarity? The Decline of Egalitarian Wage Policies in Italy and Sweden

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Baccaro, L., & Locke, R. M. (1998). The End of Solidarity? The Decline of Egalitarian Wage Policies in Italy and Sweden. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 4(3), 283-308. doi:10.1177/095968019843002.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-D7B9-5
Through an analysis of industrial relations developments in Italy and Sweden - two countries especially committed to egalitarian wage policies - this article argues that wage egalitarianism as it was conceived in the 1960s and 1970s (compression of inter-occupational wage differentials) proved to be a strategic mistake for unions. It brought about fragmentation - involving multiple cleavages between blue- and white-collar workers, skilled and unskilled, male and female, and even private and public sector employees - as opposed to unity and thus produced the opposite results from its stated goals. The article also argues that if words like `equality' and `solidarity' continue to have meaning for labour organizations, they will need to be associated in the future with completely new supply-side strategies aimed at bringing about equality of jobs as opposed merely to wages.