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After the Social Crisis: The Transformation of Employment Relations at France Télécom

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This article contributes to debates on the conditions for strengthening collective worker voice in financialized organizations. It examines change in employment relations at France Télécom/Orange (FT) following a social crisis associated with employee suicides in 2007-2009. FT’s labor unions developed creative approaches to study and publicize the negative effects of employment restructuring on workers’ psychosocial health. The common framing they developed became a source of ‘communicative power’, used to influence how the suicides were interpreted both within the firm and in the media. This power was deployed to encourage substantive social dialogue that institutionalized worker participation in management decision-making. Findings demonstrate the potentially transformative role of discursive strategies that assert the legitimacy of worker well-being as both a measure of and input to organizational performance.

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2020-01-01

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employment relations; employee suicides; mental health

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Required Publisher Statement: © Oxford University Press. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Doellgast, V., Bellego, M., & Pannini, E. (2020). After the social crisis: The transformation of employment relations at France Télécom [Electronic version]. Socio-Economic Review. doi: 10.1093/ser/mwaa006

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