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    NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
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« The Hobson and Holtz Report - Podcast #68: September 15, 2005 | Main | London podcasting conference set for success »

16 September 2005

Comments

Andrew Marritt

The BBC report makes interesting reading though I'm not sure the Union's actions are in themselves remarkable. Unions, if the economics labour market literature is to be believed, will act to protect those inside the organisation at the expense of those outside. Given this sort of situation their preferred action will be to reduce employees to protect the wages of the employees left. From what I can see this is the approach that IG Metall took.

Whilst this type of action is obviously good - potentially in the short term - for the firm's current workers it is bad for those people who could have been employed in the Chinese factories. One could argue that it has a neutral effect overall - one group's gains are equal to another group's potential losses. More likely is that Gröhe is going to be less efficient because of this & that the whole 'system' suffers a loss. If Gröhe become less able to compete because of this decision then it may be a relatively short-term decision.

Good, well run unions and a healthy relationship between unions and management does have relevancy however it should be understood that the motivation of any union is to protect income. Protecting the insiders (union members still working therefore still paying fees) at the expense of outsiders is one of the more effective ways of doing this.

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