Labour regulation and competitive performance in the port transport industry: The changing fortunes of three major European seaports

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Series Details Vol.8, No.2, July 2002, p133-156
Publication Date July 2002
ISSN 0959-6801
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Although the European Commission has sought to promote competition in the port transport sector and recommended the adoption of 'common principles' and a uniform 'management philosophy', significant differences between ports persist in terms of management and labour regulation on the one hand, and operational efficiency and international competitiveness on the other. Through a social-institutional perspective, we demonstrate how labour regulation facilitated change and international competitiveness in Antwerp, but retarded the potential of technological and other productivity-enhancing developments, in different ways, in London and Le Havre. This demonstrates that, contrary to neo-liberal economic theory and the preferred (deregulatory) policy of the European Commission and many individual Member States, institutionally saturated patterns of labour regulation are more efficient than institutionally minimalist forms of organisation

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