Exit, Voice, and Solidarity: Contesting Precarity in the Us and European Telecommunications Industries (Paperback)
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Downsizing, outsourcing, and intensifying performance management have become common features of corporate restructuring. They have also helped to drive up job insecurity and inequality. Under what conditions do companies take alternative approaches to restructuring that balance market demands for profits with social demands for high quality jobs? In Exit, Voice, and Solidarity, Doellgast compares strategies to reorganize service jobs in the US and European telecommunications industries. Market liberalization and shareholder pressure pushed employers to adopt often draconian cost cutting measures, while labor unions pushed back with creative collective bargaining and organizing campaigns. Their success depended on the intersection of three factors: constraints on employer exit, support for collective worker voice, and strategies of inclusive labor solidarity. Together, these proved to be crucial sources of worker power in fights to keep high quality jobs within core employers, while extending decent pay and conditions across increasingly complex networks of subsidiaries, subcontractors, and temporary agencies. Based on research at incumbent telecom companies in Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, UK, US, Czech Republic, and Poland, this book provides an original framework for analyzing cross-national differences in restructuring strategies and outcomes.