CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

What effect has the 2008 law on trade union representation had on the role of employee representatives within companies? A sociological study conducted five years after the law came into effect demonstrated that it hastened the loss of those union delegates who had little support, while failing to consolidate the position of the delegates who remained in place. Rather, the latter attributed the loss of their colleagues with weaker support to a longstanding process of weakening union influence. Bargaining sites have become centralized away from elected delegates’ areas of influence. The bargaining performance of union delegates is hard to decipher at the local level. Local delegates and HR staff are skeptical of the sustainability of teams of representatives. Legal institutionalization is no substitute for trade union dynamics when it comes to attracting people to union activity or forging a new basis for union representation.

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