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Union substitution in the British Caribbean

Noel M. Cowell, Gangaram Singh

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2002, vol. 2, issue 3/4, 394-414

Abstract: It is becoming a common practice for an employer to decollectivise the employment relationship by engineering a replacement of the collective agreement with individual fixed-term contracts of employment. In this study, we present the results of a survey of 89 workers employed at a Jamaican manufacturing enterprise in the wake of a conversion from permanent to fixed-term contracts of employment. The responses of the 60 workers who had worked in the company prior to the conversion indicated that they felt better off as contract workers and were more satisfied with various aspects of the employment relationship. On the other hand, the same set of workers reported that several aspects of communication and grievance administration were better before the conversion. In addition, they were more likely to disagree than to agree that the ousted union had been effective. Moreover, they were more likely to agree than to disagree that unions in general are necessary. In the final section of the paper, we discuss the results and draw implications for institutions and public policy.

Keywords: decollectivisation; union substitution; workers rights; Caribbean; industrial relations transformation. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ids:ijhrdm:v:2:y:2002:i:3/4:p:394-414