Labor Market Institutions and Restructuring in U.S. Deregulated Telecommunications Services
[Excerpt] This chapter summarizes some of the recent literature concerning the changing nature of markets, technology, and employment relations in deregulated telecommunications services in the United States. It draws on arguments and evidence from a series of studies over the last five years, most of which were undertaken by researchers at Cornell, MIT, and Rutgers universities in the United States. The research focuses on the relationship between market deregulation and technology change on the one hand, and changing business strategy, organizational structure, union relations, and work organization on the other. This chapter focuses on the extent to which labor market institutions have influenced the content and outcomes of work restructuring. The central argument is that the weakness of industrial relations institutions in the U.S. context has meant that managerial prerogative has dominated the manner in which both market deregulation and corporate restructuring have occurred. Unions largely have participated in effects bargaining, and have successfully negotiated contracts that minimize the negative outcomes of restructuring for employees and provide significant opportunities for union institutional security. I begin by briefly summarizing the state of work organization and employment relations prior to deregulation, and then review changes in markets, union institutions, business strategy, and work organization under deregulation.
telecommunications; deregulation; labor market; labor relations; technology; work organization
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