Between Local Interests and International Solidarity: Negotiating Restructuring at General Motors Europe
CERIC Working Paper No. 7
22 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2011
Date Written: October 30, 2009
At no other firm has transnational worker cooperation been taken further than at General Motors Europe. Worker representatives engaged in European wide mobilization, strikes, and collective bargaining, with the aim of “sharing the pain” of concessions and preventing plant closures. We argue that this is a case of identity work, a deliberate shift in the ideational underpinnings of union strategy, orchestrated by the European Works Council. While trade union strategy was subject to the reshaping of interests due to the objective facts of corporate restructuring, it was also subject to an additional subjective and internal political process of identity work.
Keywords: European Works Councils; trade unionism; General Motors
JEL Classification: J51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation