Transnational flexibility and ‘shareholder capitalism’: a case for extending EWC competences to cover flexibility

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Series Details No.2, 2015
Publication Date February 2015
ISSN 2031-8782
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Flexibility within multinational companies (MNCs) has become increasingly transnational in character. Strategies of inter-firm benchmarking, outsourcing and cross-national or internal ‘coercive comparison’ are increasingly used by MNCs to enhance local performance by placing plants in competition with each other, forcing subsidiaries to gradually raise their level of flexibility, and eroding employees’ working conditions.

This Policy Brief argues the need to extend the entitlement of employee participation bodies at the European level to cover corporate strategies of transnational flexibility. In particular, it is argued that by monitoring the management of flexibility at the transnational level, EWCs could improve their capacity to act upon the causes – rather than being subsequently confronted with the effects – of company restructuring as it results principally from MNCs’ strategies of increasing flexibilisation.

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