Temporary work and work contracts in the German automotive industry

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Type de publication:

Conference Paper

Source:

Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2012)

Résumé:

Antje Blöcker, Ruhr University Bochum (RUB)

Temporary work and work contracts in the German automotive industry

The world financial crisis massively affected the automobile industry. From autumn 2008 until mid-2010 German car manufacturers protected its core staff extensively by political measures such as the scrapping scheme and labour policy instruments, such as long time accounts and short-time work. In particular the dismantling of temporary workers, who usually were the first ones dismissed, launched an intensive debate on temporary work and work contracts inside the companies and within the trade union IG Metall (representing the automobile industry). As a result of the social governance compromise structuring the German automobile industry, many companies successfully implemented bargaining agreements on temporary work following the vision of "Equal pay, equal treatment".
Since summer 2010 the crisis seems to be overcome; in particular in 2011 manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and VW have announced unprecedented profits in their annual balances. Employees are involved with up to 10% of the profit payment by agreed premiums and bonus systems in this success. This can be interpreted as the success by trade unions and works councils as intermedial organisations.
But who are these employees? On the one hand, we see a shrinking group of core employees who can be glad about agreed pay rises, additional achievements, special vacation and premium payments; on the other hand, there is a growing group of marginalized employees who have to put up with often scarcely calculated reimbursements and very low temporary incomes. This group has significantly grown with the post-crisis boom. Although they contributed to the firms’ success, they don’t receive special payments and equal pay.
In this paper I discuss the increasing use of temporary work and work contracts in the German automotive industry. Which significance does temporary and contract work have on company level? How do German OEMs put it into practice? Conceptually, the paper is part of a controversial debate on whether trade unions are still intermedial or already fractal organisations.

Literature:
Dörre, Klaus (2011): Funktionswandel von Gewerkschaften. Von der intermediären zur fraktalen Organisation. In: Haipeter, Thomas/Dörre, Klaus: Gewerkschaftliche Modernisierung. Wiesbaden. VS Verlag. 267-302.
Müller-Jentsch, Walter (2009): Vom Klassenkampf zum Korporatismus. Gewerkschaften im Rheinischen Kapitalismus. In: Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 7. 61-70

Texte complet:

Antje Blöcker, Ruhr University Bochum (RUB)

Temporary work and work contracts in the German automotive industry

The world financial crisis massively affected the automobile industry. From autumn 2008 until mid-2010 German car manufacturers protected its core staff extensively by political measures such as the scrapping scheme and labour policy instruments, such as long time accounts and short-time work. In particular the dismantling of temporary workers, who usually were the first ones dismissed, launched an intensive debate on temporary work and work contracts inside the companies and within the trade union IG Metall (representing the automobile industry). As a result of the social governance compromise structuring the German automobile industry, many companies successfully implemented bargaining agreements on temporary work following the vision of "Equal pay, equal treatment".
Since summer 2010 the crisis seems to be overcome; in particular in 2011 manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and VW have announced unprecedented profits in their annual balances. Employees are involved with up to 10% of the profit payment by agreed premiums and bonus systems in this success. This can be interpreted as the success by trade unions and works councils as intermedial organisations.
But who are these employees? On the one hand, we see a shrinking group of core employees who can be glad about agreed pay rises, additional achievements, special vacation and premium payments; on the other hand, there is a growing group of marginalized employees who have to put up with often scarcely calculated reimbursements and very low temporary incomes. This group has significantly grown with the post-crisis boom. Although they contributed to the firms’ success, they don’t receive special payments and equal pay.
In this paper I discuss the increasing use of temporary work and work contracts in the German automotive industry. Which significance does temporary and contract work have on company level? How do German OEMs put it into practice? Conceptually, the paper is part of a controversial debate on whether trade unions are still intermedial or already fractal organisations.

Literature:
Dörre, Klaus (2011): Funktionswandel von Gewerkschaften. Von der intermediären zur fraktalen Organisation. In: Haipeter, Thomas/Dörre, Klaus: Gewerkschaftliche Modernisierung. Wiesbaden. VS Verlag. 267-302.
Müller-Jentsch, Walter (2009): Vom Klassenkampf zum Korporatismus. Gewerkschaften im Rheinischen Kapitalismus. In: Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 7. 61-70

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