One Company, Four Factories: Coordinating Employment Flexibility Practices with Local Trade Unions
Published on March 3, 2007 in Journal articles
One Company, Four Factories: Coordinating Employment Flexibility Practices with Local Trade Unions. European Journal of Industrial Relations March 2007 vol. 13 no. 1 67–88
This article reports a case study of employment flexibility patterns in four factories of a multinational company in western and central Europe. There is remarkable variation in these patterns, which structural and institutional factors alone do not explain. Rather, the interests of management and local unions, and the character of their mutual interaction, are central for workplace employment practices. In factories with cooperative industrial relations, unions are extensively involved in employment flexibility even if management lacks a legal obligation or economic incentives to do so. In consequence, the company policy is neither a straightforward adaptation to host country institutions, nor a simple diffusion of corporate ‘best practice’.