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Negotiating flexibility and security in multinationals in Europe: the case for extending European Framework Agreements

ETUI policy brief 1/2014 presents lessons from comparative research on collective bargaining on flexibility and security. It takes as its starting point field work undertaken in two EU- and two US-based manufacturing subsidiaries in Germany, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom. The research shows that the outcomes of local bargaining of trade unions with regard to flexibility and security in these companies are influenced ‘by the interplay of market competition, the nature of the product and the type of international integration characterizing the multinational in question’. It also demonstrates the importance of European Framework Agreements on security (for example, on training, requalification and career progression) as a tool to enhance unions’ capacity to negotiate employment security in difficult economic times.

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