As compagnies fragment, collective representation goes awry: an analysis using the REPONSE 2017 survey
This article aims to report on the forms of collective representation and the levels of social dialogue in “fragmented” companies, where relationships of dependency exist through subcontracting, subsidiarisation and multi-site companies. It makes use of the REPONSE 2017 survey and its post-studies to show the disconnect between the predominance of “fragmented” companies and the lack of centralised representation bodies. Six monographs reveal the contrast between management capable of coordinating them and workers seeing a failure of collective representation.
Keywords: collective representation, social dialogue, subcontracting, multi-site companies.
Extension of the field of company-level bargaining. Company-level bargaining under the influence of the group?
The reforms of 2016 (El Khomri act) and 2017-2018 (ratification act and Ordonnances) have shifted the very concepts of company bargaining and agreements by adding the “group” level to those of the “company” and the “workplace”. Starting from an analysis of the REPONSE survey showing the determinative nature of these bargaining levels, the feedback from monographs marked by the presence of a group level allows several configurations to be envisaged, from the group directly intervening in the bargaining (or the absence of this) to less direct influence, where there persists a level of relative autonomy on the part of the company or the workplace. While these reforms may run the risk of “financialising company-level bargaining” by linking it to the financial interests of the group, they do however leave room for the deployment of varied union tactics.
Keywords: company-level bargaining, business, workplace, group, financialization, union strategy.
Compromises under employer hegemony? A reconfiguration of practices in collective bargaining systems in French workplaces
How are the practices and uses of collective bargaining mechanisms reconfigured in a changing production and institutional context? Many studies have already shown the effects of the presence of unions and the size of establishments on the contrasting dynamics of collective bargaining. This article is an extension of this work and focuses on the analysis of the links between socio-productive contexts and the dynamics of industrial relations. This approach makes it possible to better understand the way in which employer hegemony over collective bargaining practices is reinforced, without neglecting the diversity of employer uses of social dialogue and the power relations that employee representatives are able to construct in the production of wage compromises.
Keywords: collective bargaining, workplace, socio-productive model, employer, worker representative.
What challenges are faced by CSE during the crisis?
The crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in France in 2020 has disrupted the organisation of workplaces and labour relations in companies. In this context, CSE (economic and social committees), in most cases newly set up since they were created by the Ordonnances of 22 September 2017, have an important role to play. This period has revived tensions raised by the transition to CSEs. Thus, the relationships previously held by participants in the new organisational structures are accentuated: where CSEs were rarely solicited, the participants neglect them entirely. Elsewhere, the participants make them almost entirely devoid of substance by settling for merely passing information to representatives, or by prioritising collective bargaining with union delegates or setting up ad hoc committees.
Keywords: social and economic committee (CSE), crisis, Covid-19, Ordonnances of 22 September 2017, collective bargaining, local representation, social dialogue.
The role of the sector after the Macron Ordonnances: a shift of collective bargaining toward the company level?
Since the Auroux acts of 1982, numerous institutional reforms have sought to promote company level collective bargaining to the detriment of sectoral bargaining. The Ordonnances of 2017, known as the “Macron Ordonnances”, align with this trend by reconstructing the fields of competence of the different bargaining levels of the sector and the company, but without allowing the former to move into the company-level bargaining space. In this article, we examine the consequences of these reforms in terms of practice and positioning of the various actors in relation to the sector, by cross-referencing a statistical analysis of the REPONSE survey (Relations professionnelles et négociations d’entreprise), and qualitative studies carried out in four sectors (construction, cleaning, wholesale, design/engineering firms).
Keywords: collective bargaining, Macron Ordonnances, sector-level collective bargaining agreements, REPONSE survey.