Multinational Companies in the Cleaning Industry: Local Government Privatisation, Trade Union Responses and the European Dimension

Crabbe, Tim John (1992) Multinational Companies in the Cleaning Industry: Local Government Privatisation, Trade Union Responses and the European Dimension. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is concerned with the industrial relations consequences, of the compulsory introduction of competition, into the provision of local authority cleansing services. It seeks to show how financial savings and improvements in performance ale achieved, primarily, at the expense of public service workers. Jobs, wages and conditions of employment have all been slashed, as contractors and local authority direct service teams attempt to keep costs down. Trade union organisation and resistance has been undermined by new forms of ownership and control. The ideological and economic justifications for competitive tendering are investigated, and placed in the context of expanding public sector employment and increasing trade union organisation during the post war period. The contract service industry, which has exploited the growth of contracting out in the public and private sectors, is described with specific reference to the multinational operators which now dominate it. Detailed profiles of the key multinational service companies are included, with descriptions of their industrial strategies and employment practices. The impact of European integration on public procurement is analysed, along with a brief description of the forms of public service provision adopted throughout the European Community. The nature of industrial relations in European public cleansing is investigated, and this study includes a detailed report on the impact of privatisation and multinational contractors domination of public services, on cleansing workers in France. The core of the research is provided by a series of case studies, which are concerned with the impact of competitive tendering on cleansing workers terms and conditions, trade union organisation and the nature of industrial relations, in a number of individual local authorities. The conclusions drawn from these studies are combined with empirical evidence, on the employment consequences of privatisation in a selection of additional authorities, to demonstrate the price paid by public service workers during the CCT process. The dual impact of privatisation and the internationalisation of capital in the contract service industry, indicates a fundamental break in the pattern of public service employment and local government trade unionism. Current policy is examined in the light of these findings and recommendations for a reappraisal of policy are outlined.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Charles Woolfson
Keywords: Labor relations, Labor economics
Date of Award: 1992
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1992-75361
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 20:25
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 20:25

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