ERIC Number: ED349477
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Banking the Furnace: Restructuring of the Steel Industry in Eight Countries.
A study examined how the cross-national differences in the social contract among managers, unions, and government influenced adjustment strategies in steel. The restructuring process in eight major steel-producing countries was studied to determine who bore the costs of restructuring--employers, employees, or government--and which industrial relations systems were more efficient. The countries were categorized as having adversarial industrial relations systems (Canada, Great Britain, and the United States) or cooperative systems (Belgium, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, and Sweden). Beginning in 1982, more than 100 interviews were conducted with managers, union officials, works council representatives, government officials, and academicians. Findings showed that government played a minor role in restructuring in the adversarial countries, except in Great Britain, and a much more central role in the cooperative countries. Examination of union-management negotiations showed that in the adversarial countries, the unions focused on the bargaining table; plants were closed; and in two companies, there were lengthy and pervasive strikes. In the cooperative countries, plants often closed gradually, and workers were transferred; any strikes were short. In adversarial countries, the employees and their companies bore the greatest costs of restructuring; in cooperative countries, government bore the major cost. Data did not support the expectation that the adversarial systems were more efficient. Training and retraining programs are treated in the chapter on "employment adjustment." (A list of 163 references and an index are provided.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Business Communication, Collective Bargaining, Comparative Analysis, Cost Effectiveness, Costs, Employer Employee Relationship, Federal Government, Foreign Countries, Government Role, Industrial Structure, Labor Economics, Labor Education, Labor Relations, Metal Industry, Retraining, Unions
W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 300 South Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (cloth cover, ISBN-0-88099-128-3: $25; paperback, ISBN-0-88099-127-5: $15).
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Upjohn (W.E.) Inst. for Employment Research, Kalamazoo, MI.
Identifiers: Belgium; Canada; Germany; Great Britain; Japan; Luxembourg; Sweden; United States