Production networks in many sectors have become increasingly fragmented. Cutting labour costs by lowering pay, increasing work intensity and/or shifting flexibility costs to workers are just some of the motivations for outsourcing. But it can also be used to circumvent employee representation and collective bargaining systems within companies, and labour market regulations in general. Though such intentions may not drive the bulk of outsourcing decisions, any change in company boundaries is likely to impact employment, working conditions and industrial relations in the value chain.
This book focuses on the dynamics of outsourcing in Europe from the perspective of employees. In particular, it considers one insufficiently studied aspect: the impact of outsourcing on working conditions and employment relations in companies. The book also collects lessons learned from the efforts of employees and trade unions to shape outsourcing decisions, processes and their impact on employment and working conditions.