Actors and Interactions
The basic actors encountering one another in the labor market are employers with demand for labor power and individuals who supply their work capacities. As pointed out before, in advanced capitalist societies those who hire labor power make up a very heterogeneous category; they consist of capitalist firms of different size, public sector agencies, voluntary organizations, and households. Anyone can — at least theoretically — employ another individual to carry out work. To become a small employer does not require much else than the resources to pay for the wages, the equipment to be used, and other expenditures that may be involved (it is another thing to become successful). Actors who hire out or want to hire out their labor power are in principle individuals, the bearers of the capacity for work. Still, in contemporary societies we find phenomena that appear to be exceptions to this rule such as temporary work agencies. These organizations supply workers to employers, but — and this is crucial — they do not own the labor supplied. At the bottom of the chain of transactions there is always an individual on an employment contract with the temporary work agency that has in turn established a contract with another employer. Sports teams represent one more case to consider; a soccer team can sell a player to another team and sometimes this happens without the player having much to say.
KeywordsLabor Market Collective Action Welfare State Work Task Employment Contract
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