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Reconstructing SolidarityLabour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe$
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Virginia Doellgast, Nathan Lillie, and Valeria Pulignano

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791843

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791843.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Cutting to the Bone

Cutting to the Bone

Workers’ Solidarity in the Danish-German Slaughterhouse Industry

(p.67) 3 Cutting to the Bone
Reconstructing Solidarity

Bjarke Refslund

Ines Wagner

Oxford University Press

The chapter scrutinizes how German and Danish unions are navigating the increasingly integrated slaughterhouse industry, based on a case study of a large Danish multinational slaughterhouse company with operations in both Denmark and Germany. The German slaughterhouse industry is highly affected by increasing fragmentation of production and the widespread use of low-paid workers often posted from Eastern Europe, which the Danish multinational company utilizes to lower its production costs. The Danish slaughterhouse workers’ union was more successful in safeguarding workers’ wage and working conditions and preventing labour market segmentation, while their German peers faced much more precarious work. These differences are explained by the vast differences in the unions’ power resources in the two systems. Danish unions were in a much stronger position in terms of membership, where unionization remains a social custom, with stronger collective agreements and local representation compared with the German union.

Keywords:   unions, migrant workers, slaughterhouse work, industrial relations, collective bargaining, power resources, precarious work

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