Vera Trappmann

Vera Trappmann
University of Leeds · Division of Work and Employment Relations

Professor

About

65
Publications
8,876
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
454
Citations
Introduction
Vera Trappmann is Professor of Comparative Employment Relations at the Division of Work and Employment Relations, University of Leeds. Her current research is on young precarious workers in Germany and Poland PREWORK www.prework.eu, on climate change and labour, and on labour unrest in the platform economy.
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - present
University of Leeds
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
April 2011 - March 2015
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the selected cases of the biographies of right-wing supporters from a larger sample of narrative interviews with young (18-35 years old) people in Poland and Germany. In the existing literature, we can find the socio-economic explanations of the sources of the right-wing turn (related to economic deprivation, precarisation, so...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of debates on the meanings of precarious employment, this article explores the varied ways young workers in Poland and Germany are managing precarity. Biographical narrative interviews with 123 young people revealed four different ways interviewees experienced precarity. These different approaches reflected varied ways in which inter...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the relational and moral aspects of the perception of class structure and class identifications by young people in objectively vulnerable labour market conditions in Poland and Germany. Drawing on 123 biographical interviews with young people in both countries, it demonstrates that young precarious Poles and Germans tend to id...
Research
Full-text available
Labour unrest by platform workers is an important phenomenon in the new world of work. This study examines patterns of platform labour unrest on a global scale, drawing from a database of over 500 instances of labour unrest in the food delivery sector. Results show that labour unrest has been growing in recent years and has spread across a large nu...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents findings from the Leeds Index of Platform Labour Protest, a database of platform worker protest events around the world which gathers data from online news media reports and other online sources. For the period January 2017 to July 2020, we identified 1,271 instances of worker protest in four platform sectors: ride-hailing, food...
Chapter
The existing literature lacks an exploration of this interplay between new and ‘old’ collective actors in the struggle to ensure that the interests of workers in the platform economy are effectively represented. This chapter fills this gap by examining and contributing to a better understanding of the couriers’ road to mobilization, as well as of t...
Article
Full-text available
The newly developed Leeds Index of Platform Labour Protest provides an overview of the developments in platform worker organisation and mobilisation on a global scale. Its findings so far reveal that: − The main cause globally for labour protest is pay, with considerable geographical variation when it comes to other causes for dispute. − Types of...
Article
The newly developed Leeds Index of Platform Labour Protest provides an overview of the developments in platform worker organisation and mobilisation on a global scale. Its findings so far reveal that: The main cause globally for labour protest is pay, with considerable geographical variation when it comes to other causes for dispute. Types of plat...
Book
Full-text available
Publikacja stanowi podsumowanie kluczowych wyników projektu naukowego PREWORK – "Młodzi pracownicy prekaryjni w Polsce i Niemczech: socjologiczne studium porównawcze warunków pracy i życia, świadomości społecznej i aktywności obywatelskiej" prowadzonego w latach 2016-2020. Poszczególne rozdziały dotyczą m.in. definicji prekaryjnego zatrudnienia, sy...
Book
Full-text available
The publication is a summary of the key results of the PREWORK scientific project - "Young precarious workers in Poland and Germany: a comparative sociological study on working and living conditions, social consciousness and civic engagement " carried out in 2016-2020. Chapters concern, among others, the definition of precarious employment, the sit...
Chapter
Dieser Beitrag fragt nach der Wahrnehmung von Klassenstrukturen unter jungen Erwachsenen in Deutschland. Inspiriert durch die Arbeiten von Andrew Sayer (2005, 2010) und Axel Honneth (1981) zur Bedeutung von Alltagsmoral und Klassenbewusstsein wird untersucht, inwiefern die moralische Dimension sozialer materieller Ungleichheit kritische Perspektive...
Article
Full-text available
In this Foreword to the special issue ‘In, Against and Beyond Precarity’ the guest editors take stock of the existing literature on precarity, highlighting the strengths and limitations of using this concept as an analytical tool for examining the world of work. Concluding that the overstretched nature of concept has diluted its political effective...
Book
Full-text available
This study investigates the social protection of workers in the platform economy at the request of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee. The report reviews literature and previous research on the platform economy with the aims of defining it and developing a typology for understanding its nature. It discusses the growth...
Article
By examining executives’ cognitive concepts of responsibility and the CSR activities of companies in three latecomers to explicit Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – East and West Germany, Poland and Hungary – we show that the speci!c contexts matter for both. However, attitudes and activities are not in a deterministic relation. In (West) Germ...
Article
We use micro-level analysis of developments in the steel sector in Poland, Romania and Slovakia to examine the effects of multinational corporations on trade unions in Central and Eastern Europe. We argue that unions’ weakness can be attributed to their strategies during the restructuring and privatization processes of post-communist transition. Ta...
Book
Full-text available
Business leaders exert extraordinary influence on institution building in market economies but they think and act within institutional settings. This book combines both an elite approach with a varieties-of-capitalism approach. Comparing Poland, Hungary and East and West Germany, we perceive the transformations in East Central Europe and in Germany...
Chapter
Full-text available
The debate surrounding the erosion of the “German model” has fundamental flaws with respect to business leaders as crucial actors. First, the dynamic of career changes are still disputed; second, top-managers of banks, although they play an important role for the dissolution of the “Germany Ltd.” (“Deutschland AG”), are rarely systematically includ...
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the effect of labour representation at company level. It looks into whether the existence of works councils or trade-union committees have an effect on business leaders’ attitudes towards the role of business in society, as well as any effect on leadership style and company policies. Three results are particular revealing: 1....
Chapter
This chapter explores how business leaders perceive the responsibility of business for the wider society. With a newly developed theoretical design, we can identify a variety of cognitive concepts of responsibility, linking these to the institutionalist CSR debate. Our findings show great country-specific variations. While in West Germany the neoco...
Article
This article describes the evolution of social dialogue and collective bargaining in Poland between 2008 and 2012, arguing that the effects of the crisis have been asymmetrical in two ways. First, while Poland is the only EU country to have avoided recession in macroeconomic terms, the crisis has actually disproportionately affected labour through...
Article
Full-text available
Corporate social responsibility is a young phenomenon in Central Eastern Europe. While during socialism, companies had an integral social function, the managers in East Central Europe were very keen to get rid of the social very quickly following a pure Friedmanite approach towards business “the goal of a company is to make profit”. It is only with...
Book
This book challenges the one-sided account of Poland as a successful transition case, by exploring the huge social costs for workers in terms of impoverishment and employment precarity. The ambivalent role of the European Union in the economic restructuring of Poland emerges through comparisons to earlier rounds of restructuring of steel in Western...
Chapter
This chapter presents the company case study. After briefly sketching the role of Huta Lenina in Polish history, we will study its development from a landmark of socialism into a subsidiary of a global steel company. We will in particular reconstruct the employment restructuring across the three phases 1990–1998, 1999–2003, 2004–2006). During the f...
Chapter
To understand restructuring in Poland, it is necessary to sketch the political, economic and social context in which it took place. The aim of the chapter is to position the empirical study within a historical and theoretical framework. We will briefly discuss the Polish economic transformation path and the role of the EU and its enlargement policy...
Chapter
In the course of this chapter, we will trace the restructuring of steel on a national level, investigating the role of the state, external investors and the EU in the course of the restructuring of Polish steel. We can distinguish three phases of restructuring during which the external influence of the EU and of investors were steadily increasing:...
Chapter
The influence of the EU on domestic Polish policies varied greatly before and after accession. Before accession, the EU’s influence was most powerful, establishing an enlargement regime aiming to “socialise” the Central Eastern countries into the institutional order of the European Union, based on power asymmetry. After accession, the influence of...
Chapter
Nowa Huta does not have a good reputation in Poland. Not only is its name blackened by prejudices dating from Communist times or the current difficult socio-economic conditions, but the media has also drawn a very negative picture of the town and the region. The press reports violence on its streets or loitering teenage gangs, claiming that Nowa Hu...
Chapter
The study offered an integrative analysis of restructuring in the new Europe, combining the macro with the meso- and micro-levels. We have learned how company restructuring is shaped by explicit external demands, global pressures, national institutions and local path-dependencies and what dramatic consequences it entails for individuals and local c...
Chapter
In this chapter, we will determine the influence industrial relations had on the restructuring of the Polish steel industry. The steel industry was one of the rare cases where sectoral social bargaining contributed to developing a framework for privatisation and restructuring of the industry. This was exceptional. In most sectors, unions did not ma...
Chapter
While in previous chapters we have dealt with the economic reform programme, the role of social dialogue, and the EU’s direct influence on steel restructuring through its demands in the realm of competition policy, in this chapter we will analyse the extent to which regional and labour-market policy influenced positively or negatively the restructu...
Chapter
This chapter will shed light on what became of redundant steelworkers. The previous chapters have revealed the strong belief in entrepreneurship amongst political and, in particular, labour-market actors, management and trade unions. Interestingly, this belief in entrepreneurship contradicts public assumptions, or even workers’ (self-)perceptions,...
Article
The paper examines the steel industry at the micro level in Poland, Romania and Slovakia, and analyses the sources of weakness of once-strong labour unions and the reasons for their fragile regeneration. First, it shows that weakness can be attributed to unions’ strategies during the restructuring and privatization processes of post-communist trans...
Article
Research on East Central Europe has been a late-comer to the debate on Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR). The transition from planned to market economies dramatically changed the role of companies in those societies and led to a massive externalization of social functions previously held by enterprises under state socialism. Under the increasin...
Article
The paper looks into experiences of redundancies of steelworkers in the UK and in Germany. It analyses how workers coped with redundancy and what helped them in professional re-orientation. While the politics of national labour market institutions influenced by the European Union’ policies claim that only training can improve workers’ employability...
Article
The debate surrounding the erosion of the “German model” has fundamental flaws with respect to business leaders as crucial actors. First, the dynamic of career changes are still disputed; second, top-managers of banks, although they play an important role for the dissolution of the “Germany Ltd.” (“Deutschland AG”), are rarely systematically includ...
Article
The paper analyses steel restructuring at one of the major steel companies in Poland. It traces the restructuring history from the 1990s up to recent times, arguing that restructuring was heavily influenced by EU-accession conditionality and by the sector-oriented policy of Polish trade unions. While steel restructuring is often considered a major...
Article
Full-text available
Survey data of business leaders in Germany, Poland and Hungary are used to a picture of their careers and their orientations. An overall evaluation would allow one to classify the West German business leaders as the most ‘corporatist’ and socially committed, most sceptical about shareholder value but also the least alienated and etatist. The Polish...
Article
Although German trade unions have historically played a vital role in the vocational education and training system, their focus has traditionally been on initial vocational training and education (IVET) at the expense of continued vocational education and training (CVET). However, recent changes in the German labour market, in particular the growin...
Article
Full-text available
Political economy analyses capitalism in East-Central Europe with two approaches. Using the first approach, it looks into the institutional varieties of market economies that have come into being in the past 20 years and places the countries on a continuum from liberal to coordinated. In this way, differences between national economies are brought...
Article
Full-text available
Civil society organisations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have remained weak players compared to their counterparts in established democracies. Given the particular incentives that the EU offered for the empowerment of nonstate actors during pre-accession, it has often been assumed that EU intervention improved this situation. We argue that,...
Article
Der Beitrag analysiert die Gründe für die Schwächung der Gewerkschaften in Mittel- und Osteuropa auf betrieblicher Ebene. Am Beispiel der Stahlindustrie in Polen, Rumänien und der Slowakei zeigt er, dass die Gewerkschaften Legitimität und Unterstützung bei den Belegschaften aufgrund ihrer Verwicklung in die Restrukturierung der Unternehmen verloren...
Article
Although German trade unions have historically played a vital role in the vocational education and training system, their focus has traditionally been on initial vocational training and education (IVET) at the expense of continued vocational education and training (CVET). However, recent changes in the German labour market, in particular the growin...
Article
The article analyses the reasons for union weakness in Central and Eastern Europe at the micro level. Examination of the steel industry in Poland, Romania, and Slovakia shows how in all three countries, the unions at company level have lost legitimacy and support with the rank and file due to their activities during restructuring, albeit for opposi...
Article
Der Beitrag analysiert die Gruende fuer die Schwaechung der Gewerkschaften in Mittel- und Osteuropa auf betrieblicher Ebene. Am Beispiel der Stahlindustrie in Polen, Rumaenien und der Slowakei zeigt er, dass die Gewerkschaften Legitimitaet und Unterstuetzung bei den Belegschaften aufgrund ihrer Verwicklung in die Restrukturierung der Unternehmen ve...
Article
Full-text available
Auf der Basis eines Datensatzes über mittelständische Unternehmen in Deutschland werden Zusammenhänge zwischen flexibilisierten Arbeitsvertragsgestaltungen und Betriebsmerkmalen untersucht. Zudem werden Befristung und Leiharbeit im Lichte der Kombination von Arbeits- und Führungskräftepolitik betrachtet. Flexibilisierte Arbeitsvertragsgestaltungen...
Article
The authors examine how the fate of the Polish steel industry, and in particular of steel workers, developed after the change of regime. First, at national level, the downsizing of the sector, its international context (especially the relationship between Poland and the European Union) and the role of trade unions in the transformation are reviewed...
Article
The introduction to the Special Issue on economic elites in Central Eastern Europe establishes a common understanding of elite research and the development of capitalism in Central Eastern Europe as developed during the 1990s. Since then, the composition of elites has been lost sight of by research. The article identifies areas which future researc...
Article
Full-text available
The article explores the new policy frameworks for learning and skills formation in Germany, Norway and Spain. It asks whether a new type of regulation for training is emerging, and how employers and trade unions engage with such developments. It ends arguing that there are competing dynamics, strategic directions and actor-related issues within th...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
The Leeds Index of Platform Labour Protest catalogues reported instances of protest by platform workers across the world. As it develops, it will become a unique resource for all those seeking to understand global patterns in the industrial relations of the platform economy. It is an activity of the Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change (CERIC), involving researchers from CERIC and Dig.it. https://business.leeds.ac.uk/research-ceric/dir-record/research-projects/1721/leeds-index-of-platform-labour-protest
Project
While there is existing knowledge about the actions of states and supra-national bodies, the actions of corporations and communities, the role of labour has, until recently been absent from climate change debate and analysis. This project will identify successful UK initiatives to combat climate change and the place of labour within it. The aim is to understand labour and trade union approaches towards ecological sustainability through: • Understanding the strategic positioning and industrial policy of labour unions with respect to ecological sustainability • Tracing innovative examples of unions trying to impact on ecological sustainability via their constituency, in particular via members or bargaining and political institutions.
Project
The PREWORK research project seeks to propose new theoretical insights into the extent to which precarious working and living conditions influence the emergent forms of social, class and political consciousness, individual life strategies and collective civic engagement of young workers in Poland and Germany. Taking as a case example the situation of young precarious workers, the research seeks to advance the relational, historical and interpretive approach to precarity in which the social boundaries of the concept are determined by institutional features of national varieties of capitalism, cultural and political discourses of “normal employment” as well as the practices of social actors.