Subordination in Solidarity? The Labour Law of Workers’ Cooperatives

Miriam Kullmann-Klocke, Andrea Iossa

Publication: Popular science articles (i.e. magazines)Popular science article


It cannot be disputed that labour law has served and still serves as the institution that protects the dependent workforce. Yet labour law has also served the purpose to codify the authority of the employers over their employees while, in return, recognising them the entitlement to certain rights they can invoke against the employer itself. As flexible forms of work are on the rise, whereas many businesses strategically classify the ‘recent entrants’, ie platform workers, mostly as independent workers, the discussion on whether or not this concerns ‘bogus self-employment’ looms large. The debate in labour law scholarship fostered by the questions posed by what is alternatively defined as ‘platform capitalism’ and ‘gig economy’ revolves around the dichotomy between the statuses of ‘employed’ and ‘self-employed’. Starting from the observation that those forms of employment pushes labour law out of focus, new perspectives can be envisioned. Assuming that labour law, in principle, has not lost its value to give rights and disperse obligations, there is reason to explore the possibilities of envisioning a labour law that would be supportive of more democratic and egalitarian forms of organising production. This can be achieved by addressing the issues of workers’ cooperatives and what labour law regulation they need.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationRegulating for Globalization Trade, Labor and EU Law Perspectives Regulating for Globalization
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 505003 European law
  • 505001 Labour law
  • 505017 Comparative law
  • 505020 Social law
  • 505011 Human rights

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