How Significant a Role Do Multinational Corporations (Mncs) Play in Today's Uk Economy in Terms of Their Impact on Employment Relations (Er) and Labour Conditions?

2772 Words May 6th, 2010 12 Pages
How significant a role do multinational corporations (MNCs) play in today’s UK economy in terms of their impact on employment relations (ER) and labour conditions? This is the question the paper attempts to evaluate through drawing on academic literature and empirical evidence from the 2004 Wers survey. The first section profiles MNCs in the UK, currently dominated by US and German firms. Following this, there is a brief analysis of employment relations in the UK. The third section reviews literature from leading commentators on the subject, highlighting contrasting views and evidence of foreign IR and ER practices. The fourth section looks at key factors that influence the way labour is managed within MNCs subsidiaries. The country of …show more content…
They tend to have commonality it its products and services across its subsidiaries with 52 per cent (Warwick) having an international product. It could be argued that for these reasons they have significant economic and political power and the potential to significantly impact UK employment relations and labour conditions.

Employment Relations and Labour conditions in the UK Throughout the 1980’s the Thatcher government and the neo-liberal labour movement stripped unions of their power, collapsing the traditional IR pluralist system under the previous labour governments. Historically unions played a powerful role in the UK economy, with the emphasis on centralised collective bargaining over the employment relationship. Union recognition and membership has since been on the decline. Although, sectorial shifts from manufacturing industries were unionization was predominant to an increase in the services sector is a possible conclusion. Moreover, the increase in small enterprises were unions find it hard to organise is another possible answer. It is evident that unionisation in the UK has lost its appeal and there is a marked shift towards alternative means by firms to regulate the employment relationship. The emphasis is shifting away from the pluralist view to the unitarist view on the role of the

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