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American Multinationals in EuropeManaging Employment Relations Across National Borders$
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Phil Almond and Anthony Ferner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274635

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274635.001.0001

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Collective Representation and Participation

Collective Representation and Participation

(p.95) 6 Collective Representation and Participation
American Multinationals in Europe

Trevor Colling

Paddy Gunnigle

Javier Quintanilla

Anne Tempel

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses policies on collective representation and participation in the case study companies. It argues that a marked preference for non-union approaches is a significant feature of US multinationals, strongly embedded within the US business system, that frequently affects the nature of wider HR policies. The nature of corporate orientations to industrial relations in the case study companies is examined, and how these preferences translate into the relations of bargaining and representation in the significantly different host country systems of the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Spain is analysed. The most determined attempts to avoid union influence are found in Germany and Spain. Although newer plants in Ireland and the UK tended to be non-union, there was notable pragmatism in dealing with trade unions at enterprise level. This suggests that opposition to national regulatory norms may turn on the extent to which they challenge the enterprise-based regulation systems preferred by American companies.

Keywords:   industrial relations, collective bargaining, collective representation, trade unions, union avoidance, welfare capitalism, US multinationals

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