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Disintegrating Democracy at WorkLabor Unions and the Future of Good Jobs in the Service Economy$
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Virginia Doellgast

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450471

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450471.001.0001

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Broadening the Comparison

Broadening the Comparison

(p.180) 5 Broadening the Comparison
Disintegrating Democracy at Work

Virginia Doellgast

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the extent to which the case studies discussed earlier are representative of broader trends in the U.S. and German call center industries, as well as of international developments. Survey data show that Germany's call centers were more likely to adopt high-involvement practices, but take-up of some of these practices was strongest where both labor unions and works councils were present. At the same time, patterns of inequality were similar. Average pay and working conditions differed between call centers, with subcontractors having low pay and low collective bargaining coverage in both countries. A comparison of survey results from other countries in North America and Europe also show within-country variation in wages and working conditions, but countries varied somewhat in the structure of union and works council representation as well as in patterns of outcomes.

Keywords:   call centers, labor unions, works councils, wages, working conditions, subcontractors, collective bargaining, North America, Europe, Germany

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