Thursday, 23 May 2013

Workers, unions and multinational enterprises: findings from the Wage Indicator

A new publication of the European Trade Union Institute analyses differences between multinational enterprises (MNEs) and domestic firms using data from the Wage Indicator. MNEs tend to pay higher wages and offer more training and career opportunities. On the other hand, they have more unpaid overtime and reorganisations and their employees experience more stress. Not all firms follow the same pattern - for example, some MNEs in retail and transport and communication pursue a ‘low road strategies’ that include wage pressure, e.g. in the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.
MNEs are more likely to have employee representation (such as works councils) and to be covered by collective bargaining agreements. This may in part be a consequence of their larger firm size, as well as EU regulations on employee consultation and CSR. In retail and metal and electronics, union density was found to be higher in MNEs; in other industries, the opposite was more likely to be the case.

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