Navigation:
ER3 - Julia Kubisa
ESR1 – Sara Lafuente Hernández
ESR2 - Mona Aranea Guillén
ESR3 - Dragos Adascalitei
ESR5 – Karima Aziz
ESR6 – Radek Polkowski
ESR7 - Ben Egan
ESR8 – Mateusz Karolak
ESR9 – Nina Sahraoui
ESR10 – Pille Strauss-Raats
ESR11 – Pedro Mendonca
ESR12 – Laurens Deprez

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ER3 - Julia Kubisa
The year 2015 passed amazingly quickly and although I still have a half a year until the end of my contract, I already have some reflections to share.

In 2015 I moved from Poland to Sweden and spent lots of time learning and trying to understand Swedish culture and the customs of everyday life. One of them is ‘fika’, the coffee and cake/snack break that is practised by practically everyone in Sweden. It helps keep a healthy work-life balance at the office and to get to know work colleagues better. Since Theme 3 study workers’ wellbeing, this is a good everyday practice.

In 2015 I travelled a lot, learning about the work of other colleagues in the project, which I found a truly inspiring experience. I was very warmly welcomed by Theme 3 colleagues and quickly became part of the team. In 2015 Pedro, Pille, Laurens and I managed to write an article together based on Theme 3 research, which is not only a good scientific output but also a good piece of teamwork. We also had a stream on job quality at WORK2015 conference and spent nice and productive time on discussions. Currently we are working on an edited volume on job quality, which will be a ‘hard’ output of the Theme 3 research. It turns out to be a quite a long road but hopefully it will end with success. In 2015 I also had possibility to do some of my additional research on gendered division of trade union protests and one of my articles will be published soon in Transfer, which is important to me.

I also learned a great deal about supervision – bachelor and master thesis, and co-supervision and mentoring PhD students. Even though I already had experience in this area, this time it was in new institutional and cultural setting, which was very valuable. The collaboration both with ESRs and with the supervisors in ChangingEmployment project gave me a new perspective in work, new ideas about research and teamwork.

I really enjoy working in the international environment and such a big project like ChangingEmployment gives opportunities for comparisons – different styles of academic work and of supervision. I personally think it is very enriching.
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ESR1 – 
Sara Lafuente Hernández
The Marie Curie road is coming to an end… The good news is that ULB has extended my scholarship until the end of the project in November 2016, which will give me some extra-time to complete my thesis. The other side of the coin is that there are some very difficult months ahead! The most ‘frightening’ ones, but hopefully the most creative ones too!

Since last newsletter in December 2015, I “virtually” attended our Annual Colloquium in Glasgow (I could not physically be there, but I assure you being connected through Skype really raised my spirits during such a ‘surrealistic’ week-end in Brussels!). I attended two other conferences in January and February 2016: “Penser l’émancipation: quelle convergence de luttes face à l’approfondissement de la crise?”, at the ULB (http://chsg.ulb.ac.be/ple) and the EWPCC Conference 2016 at ETUI (http://www.worker-participation.eu/About-WP/European-WP-Competence-Centre/Activities/EWPCC-Conference-2016-Building-Bridges-combining-information-consultation-and-board-level-employee-representation-in-European-multinationals) . The first one allowed me to join a working group on the future of labour market and trade unionism in Europe, created by Transform! (http://www.transform-network.net/home.html). A very interesting network of activists, trade unionists and academics concerned with the future of workers’ rights in Europe intends to work as a think-tank on a concrete program on such issues for the European left, so I will keep you posted about what comes out of this initiative. The second conference, in ETUI, led to a really fruitful academic workshop on the Recast Directive on European Works Councils (25-26 February), in which I presented some results from my case studies and exchanged views with other experts in the field, in view of the coming round of consultations on the impact of the EWC Directive.

Concerning my PhD, I have deepened my literature review on EWCs and conducted extra- interviews in Belgium and Spain related with the cases of EWCs of Engie and Enel. New publications are also under way: two book chapters on European sectoral social dialogue (with Theme 1) and multilevel negotiations within the Engie group in the context of restructuring, and the revised version of the Theme 1 RPS paper - which we hope will be published soon!

Wish you all the best of luck for these hard months to come, and see you all in November in Brussels with very good news! Now: ready, steady, go!
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ESR2Mona Aranea Guillén
The fourth and final year of our Marie Curie program has started with a challenge for me: at our Annual Colloquium at Strathclyde University in November I was accompanied by my daughter Lisa (then 3 months). Luckily she was happy to sleep through most meetings and presentations in her baby carrier and I have enjoyed amazing support by friends and fellows from the Changing Employment network. So just after maternity leave, I was able to present my research at the Project Open Day and during our colloquium and to receive useful feedback from participants.

Since January I am dedicating most of my time to the writing up of research findings in the form of my PhD. Because of two periods of maternity leave, my contract at the University of Spain ends just before the end of the project which gives me additional time over the summer to finish my PhD thesis. Besides I am working on various papers for publication, among them a contribution to the upcoming Theme 1 book and a Changing Employment Research Paper. As a result, my first two publications in academic journals are finally out: my research on the quantitative development of European Works Councils will be published in the upcoming issues of the Warsaw Forum of Economic Sociology and the Spanish Revista de Derecho Social. Both articles are co-authored by my supervisors at UniOvi, Prof. Holm-Detlev Köhler and Dr. Sergio González Begega.

The past three years have been full of new challenges for me. It was not always easy for me to carry out research in Germany, Spain and Belgium, seeing that since 2013 I have given birth twice and changed houses thrice, apart from short-term stays all over Europe. The network has given me immense strength. Both professionally and in personal life I have benefited a lot from the constant interchange with colleagues. I was able to successfully attend all network schools and annual colloquiums despite the fact that I was indeed either pregnant or carrying a baby with to each of these meetings. Everyone has been extremely supportive and understanding which has encouraged me to carry on with my work-life-balance approach.
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ESR3 - Dragos Adascalitei
In the last three months I have submitted my Ph.D and continued to work on the Changing Employment project. I have also done a short secondment period in Glasgow, where I have prepared my fieldwork for forthcoming chapters and articles. Now, I am in Romania, carrying out fieldwork for the Theme 1 forthcoming book and our common working paper that will be soon published with the Changing Employment working paper series. In addition, I started to learn more about job quality as I will contribute with a chapter to the Theme 3 book.
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ESR5 – 
Karima Aziz
It is strange to think that three years of the network and my post as an Early Stage Researcher have already passed. During this time I have made many new experiences, met interesting people, learned a lot, moved several times and tried to put my thoughts into writing. I am still in the process of writing up my research findings, but feel that while slow, there is progress. The past three months I have been writing up as much as I can, trying to limit other activities such as training etc. to a minimum. However, I think that's quite a normal progression of a PhD candidate to spend more time on training in the first years and more on writing up and dissemination in the later years. I still do my regular Polish-German conversation tandems and join the occasional lecture or seminar when relevant. The offer of this sort of thing in London is just sometimes too good to ignore and will probably not be that readily available when I move away.
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ESR6 – Radek Polkowski
Since last newsletter I have focused mainly on my PhD, specifically the ‘findings’ chapter. Moreover, as my employment at Strathclyde finished, I have started another important activity on a side of my PhD which is teaching the ‘Modern Korean Society’ course at the University of Wroclaw. It’s been a great experience to build up the course content from scratch. Apart from this, I presented my research during the MC Changing Employment Annual Colloquium in November as well as at the PhD Away Day at the University of Strathclyde. I have been also writing some articles to my photo-blog.
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ESR7 - Ben Egan
The last few months of the Changing Employment project has seen a change in employment on my part as I have moved to the ETUC to take up a post of policy advisor under the dossier of employment and labour markets. For sure, this means that I have a great deal of work ahead of me in balancing both the demanding job and the writing of the PhD but it is also engaging and exciting. In particular to work in an environment so closely related to the work of the network is itself testament to the value for all ESRs.

I would also like to add my voice to the warm words articulated by other fellows and supervisors. The project nears its end but the network will endure in myriad ways as we collectively develop different strands of collaboration.
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ESR8
– Mateusz Karolak
Although this is my last contribution to the newsletter of our Changing Employment ITN Network, I am more than sure that this is not the last word on the matter. The past three years passed in the blink of an eye and I remember very vividly the first days of this great academic – and not only – adventure.

The initial feeling of uncertainty decreased quickly and gave way to joy of academic endeavor. It would not be possible without dozens of supportive and helpful people - or rather friends -, who I was lucky to meet during past three years mainly in Poland, Scotland and Belgium. Using the opportunity I would like to thank especially Adam Mrozowicki and Iwona Taranowicz, my PhD supervisors, who “pulling me” into the field of sociology, showed involvement, patience and rigor, when it was necessary. The whole experience within the Changing Employment ITN would not be the same without my team mates: Ben, Karima, Nina, Radek and Olena. Thank you guys for a lot of talks, inspirations, creativity and of course, laughing. I am missing it already. It was a great pleasure to work with you and all other people involved in the network.

From my point of view the CE project has certainly served its purpose and facilitated entry into the academic world of critical labour studies. Although sometimes there was too little time to simply sit down and start writing a next chapter of the PhD thesis, there were many other intellectual challenges.

It is not the place to list all smaller and bigger projects we have been involved in, yet the experience they gave me is irreplaceable.

Going back to the recent events, during the last few months, which passed from the last e-newsletter, I was mainly continuing the writing-up of my research. Also one of my paper has been published in the Central Eastern European Migration Review (http://ceemr.uw.edu.pl/articles/potential-actual-social-remittances-exploring-how-polish-return-migrants-cope-difficult). Besides that, from the 1st of April I am starting a part-time work in the Polish German project: “Young precarious workers in Poland and Germany: a comparative sociological study on working and living conditions, social consciousness and civic engagement” founded by Polish National Science Centre. I am really excited about this research, especially since it will continue and explore some threads initiated by the ChangingEmployment ITN.
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ESR9 – Nina Sahraoui
Since the last Newsletter, I have been writing up the final chapters of my thesis and revising the chapters submitted previously. I have submitted the thesis at London Met on 1 March and I am now waiting for the Research Office of the University to set a date for my Viva. I hope to defend the thesis sometime in Spring this year. The final stages of writing have been so time-consuming that I did not pursue any other projects during the past weeks but I look forward to be involved in collective projects that will aim at maintaining a network of researchers running and at developing the research we have jointly carried out throughout the three years. I have to say these three years past by so quickly and at the same time these years have been so rich in experiences that it’s hard to believe all of that happened in only three years!
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ESR10 – Pille Strauss-Raats
While for many of us the road to the PhD is ending, it is still very much a work in progress for me – after realising that for long-term sustainability in my personal life and health I need to ‘walk the talk’ of an occupational psychologist, I have been working part-time and am going slowly but steadily my way through the quantitative data analysis of the comparative cases. To be honest it is really exciting, making it hard to stick to the limited working hours I have chosen – who would have guessed that it is the workers on the most ‘standard’ job contracts who seem to be under most pressure? It will be great to be able to discuss my sometimes puzzling results at the annual ILPC in Berlin soon.

As my employment in Gothenburg continues for a while, it still feels a bit early to reflect back on the PhD experience but I can say it has been a true learning curve both professionally and personally. All the opportunities for training have been invaluable, as has been the experience of working in such a mixed community of academics and practitioners - whatever route my working life will take in the future, MC will surely be one of the turning points. As for the emotional journey towards the PhD, as experienced by many of us – let my daughter sum it up for you here…


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ESR11 – Pedro Mendonca
The last e-newsletter of the programme means that the programme is coming into an end. I see it in two ways:

Firstly, being this the final stretch of the programme it feels like something – that has made me develop intellectually and personally, and that I also helped to develop – is fading away while I see people with whom I shared the Marie Curie Office in Strathclyde Uni in Glasgow leaving the programme. Because I came into the programme later than most of my ESRs colleagues, I also will leave when most of them had already left. I see it (and it kind of feels like that as well) as the guy that closes the house after a wild party, and what remains is that emptiness and silence.

Secondly, I think of it as “entity” that has been shaping the process of what I am becoming, because Changing Employment came into my life right in the middle of the process of where I haven’t decided what I was becoming yet (personally and professionally), and I was searching for my own identity. I knew I wanted to do a PhD, but I also knew that a PhD was a lonely process, mentally draining, socially alienating, and monetarily demanding. So when Changing Employment came into the picture it seemed that those questions were no longer relevant. A programme where your PhD is undertaken with a network of colleagues to whom you can get feedback, suggestions, social support, and with financial ease for training and living costs, your life suddenly looks a lot easier. Nevertheless, there were other questions that emerged from the opportunity given by Changing Employment. Because, it’s hard when you are going to make a PhD and you just have one chance to make a proper body of research, and thus during this process I was often encountering myself with questions such as: what is my identity?; and how is that identity going to express itself in my body of research?; what is going to be my contribution?; and, how am I going to tell you about it? In my view, that is a very hard decision for a person to make during a PhD, but being part of Changing Employment made it easier; however not easy. It is still an ongoing process that – now I understand – can take your whole life. The Changing Employment programme gave a completely different meaning of what is to be a PhD student, not only because it is funded by Marie Skolodowska Curie institute, but mostly because of the people who are part of it.
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ESR12 – Laurens Deprez
As my contract with the Changing Employment project was running out, I have been busy with tying up loose ends and arranging things for the post contract period: mostly looking for a new job and resolving some administrative issues regarding moving back full time to Belgium and leaving France. I have renewed my Cisco certification in order to work in the IT networking sector, because I feel this is my best bet to both support myself during the writing period and ensure I don’t have to put all my eggs in the same (academic) basket.

Academic writing wise, I have finished up articles on the sharing economy and the waterfall/agile software development teamwork methodologies, I will consider getting these published, either on their own, or as part of the book theme 3 is working on.

Looking back on the whole experience, I have met some interesting people and no doubt picked up valuable knowledge, but it has to be said that the academic world certainly is a special world with its own special rituals and language, a world where apart from the good things I have also experienced some weird or somewhat negative things. However, I do not look back on the experience in a negative way, as with all things in life you take the bad with the good.
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Navigation:







ESR1 – Sara Lafuente Hernández



ESR2 - Mona Aranea Guillén



ESR3 - Dragos Adascalitei



ESR5 – Karima Aziz



ESR6 – Radek Polkowski



ESR7 - Ben Egan



ESR8 – Mateusz Karolak



ESR9 – Nina Sahraoui



ESR10 – Pille Strauss-Raats



ESR11 – Pedro Mendonca



ESR12 – Laurens Deprez







Back to eNewsletter Main Page



ESR1 – Sara Lafuente Hernández



During the last months, I have been working hard on a paper on the European sectoral social dialoguecommittee (SSDC) of electricity, which I presented in the IREC Conference 2014 in Dublin. I had very fruitful discussions on it with Eurofound experts and other researchers in the field of European industrial relations, and I could also get useful feedback from my Theme 1 colleagues in a workshop organized in Brussels. I submitted my paper to the ChangingEmployment Research Paper Series and will submit an article for a journal, so hopefully you will be able to discover soon my findings on-line or in printed version. My hypothesis there is that the SSDC of electricity is used for partner-lobbying instead of for bilateral negotiation because the representativeness criteria and the sector’s definition at the EU and national levels differ. Institutional designs imply structural misfits across levels, which unequally affect trade unions’ and employers’ capacities of representation. The findings raise both a challenge for quantitative research in European IR and policy implications for European institutions and trade unions’ strategies. I expect to soon discuss these preliminary findings in interviews with social partners at the EU level.







Besides two Theme 1 meetings, the very interesting visit to ILO and our mid-term Annual Colloquium in Wroclaw, I also attended several conferences and seminars outside the network (i.e. Europe at a crossroads, organized by ETUI http://www.etui.org/Events/Europe-at-a-crossroads.-Which-way-to-quality-jobs-and-prosperity







Allocation universelle: liberté ou précarité?, organized at the ULB http://fsp.ulb.ac.be/fr/conferencedebat-allocation-universelle-liberte-ou-precarite







I await now a coming seminar organized by Europe et Société in Paris on European sectoral social dialogue, where I expect to get a direct insight on employers’ views on EU sectoral social dialogue through informal participatory observation. Then, I will have my first lectures to Master students in Sociology of work at the ULB. This will be a short farewell-teaching experience, since I will start my secondment in Oviedo after the winter holidays! 







For those coming now to Belgium in secondment, I leave here a few curious but worthwhile visits related to the world of work which I recently discovered myself. Enjoy your stay!







Exhibition of Constantin Meunier (1831-1905) in Musée Royaux des Beaux Arts (Brussels), until 11 January 2015. He was a realist Belgian artist reputed for his sculptures of industrial workers, dockers and miners, and in tribute to Work: http://www.expo-meunier.be/en/home







Old Mining site in Le Bois du Cazier (Marcinelle), near Charleroi, which has been turned into a Museum of the Industry of Wallonie since a tragic accident occurred there in 1956. So it is like a memorial for miners and industrial workers: http://www.leboisducazier.be/







Museum about industry, labour and textile (Ghent). If you visit the lovely city of Ghent (I strongly recommend it) and need to warm up in the middle of the freezing Belgian winter, have a look at this charming exhibition on industrial history. Almost everything is in flemish, but despite this inconvenient for foreigners, a true Mule of Jenny spinning machine awaits you inside, which is a piece of history and symbol of the industrial revolution (Marx even mentioned it in The Capital, apparently).http://www.miat.gent.be/en







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ESR2 - Mona Aranea Guillén



As Early Stage Researcher and Phd Candidate placed at the University of Oviedo, Spain, I am doing research on employment relations in multinational corporations on the European level. My case studies are located in the steel sector and the insurance sector.







At the moment I am based at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) in Brussels. My term as an ETUI visiting researcher (Sept -Dec 2014) has been immensely fruitful in terms of data provision, academic training, dissemination of my research and personal networking. From January until March I will be on secondment at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) where I will be supervised by Pierre Desmarez at the Centre METICES.







At my home institution in Oviedo I have completed the first year as a Phd candidate. I have received valuable and encouraging feedback after presenting the state of my research at the sociology department’s annual “Phd Day” that took place in September.







Using initial findings from my fieldwork, I have written a paper on European Framework agreements that has met much interest at the Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) which took place in Dublin, Ireland in September. My presentation there was titled “European Framework Agreements (EFA) and the transnationalization of institutional power: the challenge of implementing the ArcelorMittal EFA in Germany and Spain”. The paper is currently under revision for the Changing Employment Research Paper series.



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ESR3 - Dragos Adascalitei



During the last couple of months I have been busy with writing up two papers based on fieldwork data from Romania. Both of them were submitted to journals which are supposed to come back to me with a reply by the end of January. In the meantime, I am busy with organizing the final details of my secondment at the International Labour Organization (ILO) which will start sooner than expected, on 15 of January 2015. As it looks now, at the ILO I will contribute to one of the chapters for the forthcoming publication 'World Employment and Social Outlook'. Besides, in the upcoming year I will work on two Changing Employment papers. The first one is a Theme 1 common paper that will compare workplace adjustments during the recent crisis in Spain and Romania. The second one, is a co-authored paper with Ben Egan, which will focus on the impact of migration on union organization in Romania and United Kingdom. Finally, I plan to spend a couple of weeks next year in Romani – doing fieldwork in an automotive plant.



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ESR5 – Karima Aziz



In September 2014 I moved to Wrocław, Poland, for my placement at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Wrocław. The timing was just right, because I had finished my fieldwork in the UK and came to Poland a couple of weeks before the academic semester officially started. That way I had the possibility to take advantage of the offer the university provides for international students like a two-weeks language course, welcome events and information days. Through this I learned a lot about the city and the university and met other people, who are also in Wrocław for the first time, which really made my start in Wrocław a lot easier. Later when the semester had started I also took advantage of the offer of lectures of the MA in intercultural mediation, the semester Polish language course and I try to integrate in the institute joining meetings of the department. I got the chance to stay in the same place as some of my theme colleagues, since when I arrived Radek was here and will come back again for his second round of Polish fieldwork and Mateusz came a month after my move back from his placement in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde. This framework made my placement very enjoyable and despite me being worried about finding respondents I managed to find interviewees through contacts from interviewees in the UK, snow-balling in Poland, friends of friends and online calls especially on Facebook.



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ESR6 – Radek Polkowski



It has been a busy period since last newsletter. My secondment at the University of Wroclaw came to an end in September and right after this I went to north of Ireland to conduct follow-up interviews exactly one year after my first interviews. I stayed there for almost entire October, travelling across country to meet my interviewees. I also used this time to take videos and photos around Belfast for my short documentary film. In the beginning of December I will participate in the media training at CEU where I can work on the collected material. I have also presented my research at the PhD Away Day at the University of Strathclyde. In the meantime, I have been working on the working paper for ETUI, drafts for the theme 2’s special issue for FOCAAL, the chapter for our book project, and a chapter for my PhD thesis.



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ESR7 - Ben Egan



ESR7, Ben Egan recently completed his secondment at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and has returned to Leuven to finalise his conceptual framework in anticipation for commencing field work in the New Year. He has also been engaged in various dissemination activities, which have served as a useful platform for feedback on the developing framework. These include the annual PhD symposium for the British Universities Industrial Relations Association, which was held in Leeds, and being a guest speaker for the Newcastle University Business School’s research seminar series.



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ESR8 – Mateusz Karolak



With the beginning of October I said goodbye to Glasgow and became a return migrant myself, again. The months which followed I mainly devoted to the writing up the newest findings from the fieldwork as well as to the preparation to the Network Annual Colloquium and after-all-not-so-scary Mid-term review. The interesting and enriching experience was also to coordinate the 3-days long visit of prof. Guy Standing at the University of Wrocław. Sometimes provocative statements of the author of The Precariat… became a good opportunity to discuss with other fellows What Is the Alternative, and how to deal with the T.I.N.A. approach. Hopefully we will continue our talks on the Changing Employment Blog. As for future, in the January I am moving to Brussels where I am going to have a placement at the European Trade Union Institute. Moreover I will also attend in the IMISCOE 3CI PhD Conference ‘Changing Europe – Changing Migration’: Europe in the World on the Move.  



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ESR9 – Nina Sahraoui



Since October I’m conducting fieldwork in Madrid with migrant care workers. It’s a great adventure and apart from very interesting interviews with the workers I had the chance to take part in the activities of various migrant associations. I’ve learned a lot through them and through their work. Living in Lavapies, a multicultural district of Madrid, I’ve also discovered a vibrant local community with many grassroots movements that enrich the neighborhood through arts and social engagement. Time goes by so fast but I’m trying to make the best out this very thought-provoking environment to take bits and pieces of this environment back with me. This fieldwork constitutes the third and last part of my fieldwork after having conducting similar interviews with migrant care workers in London and Paris. This 3-sited research has been incredibly enriching but I also have the feeling that the more I get to see and hear the more questions I have! 



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ESR10 – Pille Strauss-Raats



The time leading up to Christmas is beautiful in Sweden – there are lots of Christmas lights and manyoccasions for ‘fika’ with glögg and pepparkakor among friends and colleagues - an excellent time for social bonding and just to the point of my research!







The work itself is progressing as planned, with main focus on the questionnaire survey. The challenge here is finally being forced to ‘tune down’ my research area - so many aspects of the research context seem to be interesting and of course absolutely relevant for my research questions but it is time to admit that one project cannot cover it all. In addition to the continuing comparative focus on the regulation and outcomes for health and safety in agency work, the project is (re)turning deeper into the psychological processes of social support and wellbeing in this specific setting. I have been lucky to be able to take part in two research networks in these areas this fall through ESRC seminar series: the one on regulation of work and employment, lead by the Newcastle University Business School and another on current challenges in sustaining employee wellbeing, lead by the University of Edinburgh. Both seminar series have been very valuable for gaining theoretical understandings and an overview of current discussions in these fields. And of course, as always, it was good to exchange ideas within our own Changing Employment network during our annual colloquium in November – I am looking forward to putting all the valuable inputs to practice in the coming months.







For now, best Christmas wishes from beautiful Gothenburg! 



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ESR11 – Pedro Mendonca



The completion of theme 3 will be undoubtedly forever linked to Poland, where the ITN network school took place in November. It was in Wroclaw, Poland where the theme 3 met its final member and ER – Welcome to the ‘job quality’ Julia! Personally this is of much importance, because now I can practice and improve my Polish; and it also meant that I was introduced to one of the best dishes that I ever tried – pierogi – I prefer the baked ones to be honest! 



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ESR12 – Laurens Deprez



The Wroclaw network school came and went. I have to say I didn’t look forward to this, seeing as we would be evaluated by the EU commission and Poland not exactly being on the top of my ‘places to go’ list. The gazillion presentations and interviews to look forward to didn’t help either. As happens so often with that attitude, it went quite above expectations: Polish food is great, and I have never seen a city centre outside the lowlands look more like my native town than Wroclaw. Very surprising.







On a scientific note: I am being engrossed by the open source community and the interesting debates going on in there. Suddenly I have the feeling this makes my thesis a lot more relevant for society, which is a huge boost to my motivation. During the poster presentation in Wroclaw many people approached me and asked me for my contact data, so that is nice as well.



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Navigation:







ESR1 – Sara Lafuente Hernández



ESR2 - Mona Aranea Guillén



ESR3 - Dragos Adascalitei



ESR5 – Karima Aziz



ESR6 – Radek Polkowski



ESR7 - Ben Egan



ESR8 – Mateusz Karolak



ESR9 – Nina Sahraoui



ESR10 – Pille Strauss-Raats



ESR11 – Pedro Mendonca



ESR12 – Laurens Deprez







Back to eNewsletter Main Page



ESR1 – Sara Lafuente Hernández



During the last months, I have been working hard on a paper on the European sectoral social dialoguecommittee (SSDC) of electricity, which I presented in the IREC Conference 2014 in Dublin. I had very fruitful discussions on it with Eurofound experts and other researchers in the field of European industrial relations, and I could also get useful feedback from my Theme 1 colleagues in a workshop organized in Brussels. I submitted my paper to the ChangingEmployment Research Paper Series and will submit an article for a journal, so hopefully you will be able to discover soon my findings on-line or in printed version. My hypothesis there is that the SSDC of electricity is used for partner-lobbying instead of for bilateral negotiation because the representativeness criteria and the sector’s definition at the EU and national levels differ. Institutional designs imply structural misfits across levels, which unequally affect trade unions’ and employers’ capacities of representation. The findings raise both a challenge for quantitative research in European IR and policy implications for European institutions and trade unions’ strategies. I expect to soon discuss these preliminary findings in interviews with social partners at the EU level.







Besides two Theme 1 meetings, the very interesting visit to ILO and our mid-term Annual Colloquium in Wroclaw, I also attended several conferences and seminars outside the network (i.e. Europe at a crossroads, organized by ETUI http://www.etui.org/Events/Europe-at-a-crossroads.-Which-way-to-quality-jobs-and-prosperity







Allocation universelle: liberté ou précarité?, organized at the ULB http://fsp.ulb.ac.be/fr/conferencedebat-allocation-universelle-liberte-ou-precarite







I await now a coming seminar organized by Europe et Société in Paris on European sectoral social dialogue, where I expect to get a direct insight on employers’ views on EU sectoral social dialogue through informal participatory observation. Then, I will have my first lectures to Master students in Sociology of work at the ULB. This will be a short farewell-teaching experience, since I will start my secondment in Oviedo after the winter holidays! 







For those coming now to Belgium in secondment, I leave here a few curious but worthwhile visits related to the world of work which I recently discovered myself. Enjoy your stay!







Exhibition of Constantin Meunier (1831-1905) in Musée Royaux des Beaux Arts (Brussels), until 11 January 2015. He was a realist Belgian artist reputed for his sculptures of industrial workers, dockers and miners, and in tribute to Work: http://www.expo-meunier.be/en/home







Old Mining site in Le Bois du Cazier (Marcinelle), near Charleroi, which has been turned into a Museum of the Industry of Wallonie since a tragic accident occurred there in 1956. So it is like a memorial for miners and industrial workers: http://www.leboisducazier.be/







Museum about industry, labour and textile (Ghent). If you visit the lovely city of Ghent (I strongly recommend it) and need to warm up in the middle of the freezing Belgian winter, have a look at this charming exhibition on industrial history. Almost everything is in flemish, but despite this inconvenient for foreigners, a true Mule of Jenny spinning machine awaits you inside, which is a piece of history and symbol of the industrial revolution (Marx even mentioned it in The Capital, apparently).http://www.miat.gent.be/en







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ESR2 - Mona Aranea Guillén



As Early Stage Researcher and Phd Candidate placed at the University of Oviedo, Spain, I am doing research on employment relations in multinational corporations on the European level. My case studies are located in the steel sector and the insurance sector.







At the moment I am based at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) in Brussels. My term as an ETUI visiting researcher (Sept -Dec 2014) has been immensely fruitful in terms of data provision, academic training, dissemination of my research and personal networking. From January until March I will be on secondment at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) where I will be supervised by Pierre Desmarez at the Centre METICES.







At my home institution in Oviedo I have completed the first year as a Phd candidate. I have received valuable and encouraging feedback after presenting the state of my research at the sociology department’s annual “Phd Day” that took place in September.







Using initial findings from my fieldwork, I have written a paper on European Framework agreements that has met much interest at the Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) which took place in Dublin, Ireland in September. My presentation there was titled “European Framework Agreements (EFA) and the transnationalization of institutional power: the challenge of implementing the ArcelorMittal EFA in Germany and Spain”. The paper is currently under revision for the Changing Employment Research Paper series.



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ESR3 - Dragos Adascalitei



During the last couple of months I have been busy with writing up two papers based on fieldwork data from Romania. Both of them were submitted to journals which are supposed to come back to me with a reply by the end of January. In the meantime, I am busy with organizing the final details of my secondment at the International Labour Organization (ILO) which will start sooner than expected, on 15 of January 2015. As it looks now, at the ILO I will contribute to one of the chapters for the forthcoming publication 'World Employment and Social Outlook'. Besides, in the upcoming year I will work on two Changing Employment papers. The first one is a Theme 1 common paper that will compare workplace adjustments during the recent crisis in Spain and Romania. The second one, is a co-authored paper with Ben Egan, which will focus on the impact of migration on union organization in Romania and United Kingdom. Finally, I plan to spend a couple of weeks next year in Romani – doing fieldwork in an automotive plant.



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ESR5 – Karima Aziz



In September 2014 I moved to Wrocław, Poland, for my placement at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Wrocław. The timing was just right, because I had finished my fieldwork in the UK and came to Poland a couple of weeks before the academic semester officially started. That way I had the possibility to take advantage of the offer the university provides for international students like a two-weeks language course, welcome events and information days. Through this I learned a lot about the city and the university and met other people, who are also in Wrocław for the first time, which really made my start in Wrocław a lot easier. Later when the semester had started I also took advantage of the offer of lectures of the MA in intercultural mediation, the semester Polish language course and I try to integrate in the institute joining meetings of the department. I got the chance to stay in the same place as some of my theme colleagues, since when I arrived Radek was here and will come back again for his second round of Polish fieldwork and Mateusz came a month after my move back from his placement in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde. This framework made my placement very enjoyable and despite me being worried about finding respondents I managed to find interviewees through contacts from interviewees in the UK, snow-balling in Poland, friends of friends and online calls especially on Facebook.



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ESR6 – Radek Polkowski



It has been a busy period since last newsletter. My secondment at the University of Wroclaw came to an end in September and right after this I went to north of Ireland to conduct follow-up interviews exactly one year after my first interviews. I stayed there for almost entire October, travelling across country to meet my interviewees. I also used this time to take videos and photos around Belfast for my short documentary film. In the beginning of December I will participate in the media training at CEU where I can work on the collected material. I have also presented my research at the PhD Away Day at the University of Strathclyde. In the meantime, I have been working on the working paper for ETUI, drafts for the theme 2’s special issue for FOCAAL, the chapter for our book project, and a chapter for my PhD thesis.



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ESR7 - Ben Egan



ESR7, Ben Egan recently completed his secondment at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and has returned to Leuven to finalise his conceptual framework in anticipation for commencing field work in the New Year. He has also been engaged in various dissemination activities, which have served as a useful platform for feedback on the developing framework. These include the annual PhD symposium for the British Universities Industrial Relations Association, which was held in Leeds, and being a guest speaker for the Newcastle University Business School’s research seminar series.



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ESR8 – Mateusz Karolak



With the beginning of October I said goodbye to Glasgow and became a return migrant myself, again. The months which followed I mainly devoted to the writing up the newest findings from the fieldwork as well as to the preparation to the Network Annual Colloquium and after-all-not-so-scary Mid-term review. The interesting and enriching experience was also to coordinate the 3-days long visit of prof. Guy Standing at the University of Wrocław. Sometimes provocative statements of the author of The Precariat… became a good opportunity to discuss with other fellows What Is the Alternative, and how to deal with the T.I.N.A. approach. Hopefully we will continue our talks on the Changing Employment Blog. As for future, in the January I am moving to Brussels where I am going to have a placement at the European Trade Union Institute. Moreover I will also attend in the IMISCOE 3CI PhD Conference ‘Changing Europe – Changing Migration’: Europe in the World on the Move.  



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ESR9 – Nina Sahraoui



Since October I’m conducting fieldwork in Madrid with migrant care workers. It’s a great adventure and apart from very interesting interviews with the workers I had the chance to take part in the activities of various migrant associations. I’ve learned a lot through them and through their work. Living in Lavapies, a multicultural district of Madrid, I’ve also discovered a vibrant local community with many grassroots movements that enrich the neighborhood through arts and social engagement. Time goes by so fast but I’m trying to make the best out this very thought-provoking environment to take bits and pieces of this environment back with me. This fieldwork constitutes the third and last part of my fieldwork after having conducting similar interviews with migrant care workers in London and Paris. This 3-sited research has been incredibly enriching but I also have the feeling that the more I get to see and hear the more questions I have! 



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ESR10 – Pille Strauss-Raats



The time leading up to Christmas is beautiful in Sweden – there are lots of Christmas lights and manyoccasions for ‘fika’ with glögg and pepparkakor among friends and colleagues - an excellent time for social bonding and just to the point of my research!







The work itself is progressing as planned, with main focus on the questionnaire survey. The challenge here is finally being forced to ‘tune down’ my research area - so many aspects of the research context seem to be interesting and of course absolutely relevant for my research questions but it is time to admit that one project cannot cover it all. In addition to the continuing comparative focus on the regulation and outcomes for health and safety in agency work, the project is (re)turning deeper into the psychological processes of social support and wellbeing in this specific setting. I have been lucky to be able to take part in two research networks in these areas this fall through ESRC seminar series: the one on regulation of work and employment, lead by the Newcastle University Business School and another on current challenges in sustaining employee wellbeing, lead by the University of Edinburgh. Both seminar series have been very valuable for gaining theoretical understandings and an overview of current discussions in these fields. And of course, as always, it was good to exchange ideas within our own Changing Employment network during our annual colloquium in November – I am looking forward to putting all the valuable inputs to practice in the coming months.







For now, best Christmas wishes from beautiful Gothenburg! 



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ESR11 – Pedro Mendonca



The completion of theme 3 will be undoubtedly forever linked to Poland, where the ITN network school took place in November. It was in Wroclaw, Poland where the theme 3 met its final member and ER – Welcome to the ‘job quality’ Julia! Personally this is of much importance, because now I can practice and improve my Polish; and it also meant that I was introduced to one of the best dishes that I ever tried – pierogi – I prefer the baked ones to be honest! 



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ESR12 – Laurens Deprez



The Wroclaw network school came and went. I have to say I didn’t look forward to this, seeing as we would be evaluated by the EU commission and Poland not exactly being on the top of my ‘places to go’ list. The gazillion presentations and interviews to look forward to didn’t help either. As happens so often with that attitude, it went quite above expectations: Polish food is great, and I have never seen a city centre outside the lowlands look more like my native town than Wroclaw. Very surprising.







On a scientific note: I am being engrossed by the open source community and the interesting debates going on in there. Suddenly I have the feeling this makes my thesis a lot more relevant for society, which is a huge boost to my motivation. During the poster presentation in Wroclaw many people approached me and asked me for my contact data, so that is nice as well.



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