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A Solution for Transnational Labour Regulation?

Company Internationalization and European Works Councils in the Automotive Sector

Axel Hauser-Ditz, Markus Hertwig, Ludger Pries and Luitpold Rampeltshammer

This book examines the role that European employee representatives play in the restructuring of firms. In a globalized economy, company internationalization and transnational restructuring are of growing concern for employees and trade unions. In the European Union, the still rather new institution of European works councils provides basic rights for employees. Using examples of eight large automotive manufacturers like Volkswagen, GM or Toyota, the volume analyzes the internationalization strategies of the companies and the effects of European works councils, pointing to a high degree of variation in strategies and effectiveness of cross-border employee representation.

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Preface and acknowledgements

Extract

This study sets out the results of a research project on the developmental dynamics and effectiveness of European Works Councils (EWC) in the automotive industry that was undertaken by the Department of Sociology and Organisation, Migration and Codetermination at the Ruhr University, Bochum, between 2007 and 2010 and financially supported by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschun- gsgemeinschaft – DFG). The immediate project team consisted of Axel Hauser-Ditz, Markus Hertwig, Ludger Pries and Luitpold Rampeltshammer. Jessica Buchholz, Valentina Mählmeyer, Martin Seeliger and Katharina Westerholt were the research assistants on the project and made a contribution that went considerably beyond the normal call of duty. The project team are grateful to Susanne Axt-Sokolowski for her work in the practical organisation of the research. We were greatly helped by Veronika Dehnen in preparing and undertaking a number of interviews in France. Holm-Detlev Köhler (Spain), Hiroshi Kumon (Japan), Miguel Martínez Lucio (UK), Udo Rehfeldt and Elsie Charraon (France), and Stanislaw Rudolph (Poland) contributed to the successful completion of the research through their expert knowl- edge, advice and critical comments as well as establishing contacts for field research. In addition, we are grateful for the comments on individual sections of this book by Thomas Haipeter, Ulrich Jürgens, Günter Koch, Georg Leutert, Thomas Metz, Tommaso Pardi, Frederic Speidel, Manfred Wannöffel and Georg Wolter. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to all the institutions and individu- als involved in the project, and in particular to our interviewees for the...

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