Enhancing the Effectiveness of Social Dialogue Articulation in Europe (EESDA)

By | France


This study evaluates the current effectiveness and implementation of social dialogue in France. It does this through cross-sectoral analysis with interviews of key stakeholders and desk research. It concludes that, overall, social dialogue is deteriorating in effectiveness over time, despite increased involvement, and that it is being decentralised, preferring company decisions over sector decisions.

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Labour Relations Quality and Productivity: an Empirical Analysis on French Firms

By | France, Social dialogue


We empirically characterise how good labour relations can alleviate the negative impact on productivity of regulatory constraints or workforce opposition. The estimates are based on a unique survey of French manufacturing firms collected by the Banque de France over the period 1991-2008. Our main results may be summarised as follows:

i) workforce or union opposition interacted with regulatory constraints has a negative significant impact on total factor productivity (TFP). When this interaction is not taken into account, a deteriorated labour climate, through workforce or union opposition, weighs directly on TFP. But when this interaction is taken into account, this negative impact relies solely on the combination of regulatory constraints and labour opposition: workers or unions can successfully oppose managements decisions and weigh on TFP when they can use or threaten to use appropriate regulation; otherwise, their opposition may be harmless;

ii) regulatory constraints interacted with branch or firm agreement has a positive significant impact on TFP. These agreements, which can only be obtained if labour relations are supportive, would be used by firms to offset the negative impact of regulatory constraints. This favourable impact can be obtained through two channels: first, informally, a good labour climate can lead to a flexible implementation of regulation; second, formally, the French labour code incorporates provisions that allow firm or branch agreements to adapt or even alleviate the constraints of regulation.

These results emphasise that the implementation of regulatory constraints and their impact on productivity crucially hinges on the quality of labour climate.

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Working Conditions and Social Dialogue

By | Belgium, Case-study, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Social dialogue, Spain

This report examines the link between working conditions and social dialogue, highlighting instances where social dialogue has had an impact on working conditions. The impact of social dialogue on working conditions is considered at all levels – national, sectoral, company and workplace levels. There is also a specific focus on occupational health and safety. The first section of the report maps existing research and administrative reports, highlighting the findings of surveys, both quantitative and qualitative, that have identified a link between social dialogue and working conditions. The second section looks at examples of social dialogue drawn from case studies that have had an impact on working conditions in a range of areas. Some examples of incomplete social dialogue are also presented, including possible reasons for the shortcomings. Finally, the report identifies potential lessons for the future in terms of factors that contribute to the success or failure of social dialogue.

The study was compiled on the basis of individual national reports submitted by the EIRO and EWCO correspondents. The text of each of these national reports is available below. The reports have not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a questionnaire and should be read in conjunction with it.


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Restructuring enterprises through social dialogue: Socially responsible practices in times of crisis

By | Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Social dialogue, United States

The paper analyses examples of companies in which management, in collaboration with workers’ representatives and unions, has designed and implemented socially responsible enterprise restructuring plans. The selected examples show that by creating space for dialogue and (self-)regulation aimed at protecting the levels, as well as the terms and conditions, of employment in specific plants (plant-level agreements) or across different operations of multinational companies (transnational company agreements), win-win situations can emerge, even in times of crisis.


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