This article examines how pressures stemming from the structure and dynamics of supply chains shape employment relations at the workplace level. Using qualitative data from two organisational case studies operating within the same supply chain, it highlights that supply chains can constrain or enhance trade unions’ capacity to organise and mobilise. Supply chain rationalisation is found to be a key determinant in the reconfiguration of labour and labour process with significant consequences for working conditions. However, trade unions can also use supply chain structures to effectively mobilise and defend the interests of their constituents. The article finds that trade union effectiveness develops against the articulation of an agenda that goes beyond the workplace and transcends organisational boundaries. In particular, strategies that rely on building coalitions and lobbying different actors across the supply chain are found to be effective and contribute to better working conditions.
|Journal||Work, Employment and Society|
|Early online date||4 May 2020|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2020|
- employment relations
- power resources
- supply chains
- trade union