ECPR General Conference
University of Glasgow, Glasgow
3 - 6 September 2014




Workplace Diversity in Multinational Companies and Trade Union Inclusion Strategies: The Role of Migrant Labour in Expanding Service Multinationals

Presenter
Ben Egan
University of Leuven
Authors
Ben Egan
University of Leuven

Abstract
Despite a rich body of literature on employment research conducted in multinationals, these continue to focus on manufacturing companies over those providing services despite the fact that manufacturing has been contributing a diminishing level of employment for many years in advanced economies. Furthermore the diversification of the workforce to incorporate under-represented groups has presented challenges for both employers and labour to build inclusive workplaces. The expansion of multinational companies into services traditionally associated with the public sector therefore raises fundamental questions about these inclusion strategies in workplaces that are in a state of transition from one type of employment relations system to another (i.e public sector to multinational). This conceptual paper uses existing literature to develop the concept of ‘public service multinational’ as a unique employer-type in a period of austerity and developing free-trade deals which cement multinational power in relation to states, acting as both service procurer and regulator. Through conceptualising this particular organisation/employer type we can subsequently start to understand what implications the privatization and marketization of public services has for low-paid migrant workers in multinational contractors, in a model supposedly designed to cut costs.
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