Companies' responsability Trade unions strategies Regions Transitional agencies
 
 

COMPANIES' RESPONSIBILITY

 
 
Companies are not equal when confronted with restructuring. Differences in size, resources, activity sector, independence or dependence (customers, subcontractors) are diversity factors. Nevertheless, they all are confronted with common problems when restructuring.
In a world in constant change, companies must anticipate, i.e. to identify in economic, trade and technical processes the ones they are interested in. This behaviour does not prevent from restructuring. On the one hand, all of them are not predictable (Swedtech is a good example of that), and on the other hand, these anticipations themselves do lead to restructuring decisions.
But anticipation also can change the course of restructuring processes by giving time to monitor them. Cap compétence is a very interesting example as it involves an « extended company », i.e. the company and its subcontractors.

 

An anticipative approach of markets can then enable an anticipative approach of restructuring processes when the information is shared with all actors involved. This makes social dialogue and negotiation the major tools of this approach. In different institutional and legal frameworks, this approach is chosen by big groups (Vx Group, Vantenfall, EDF, BT,…) or even smaller companies (ADDA) for a social dialogue either internal or extended to regional actors (Vinn Vinn project, Vauxhall). The absence or the poor efficient use of these anticipation tools can deeply handicap the company as well as the employees (BIO).
In this context, big companies have a specific role to play. On the one hand they produce and regularly update estimates thanks to important means and work on anticipative strategies for current changes. On the other hand, they live under permanent restructuring. We can even say that in some big groups, arbitration on the opportunity or not to modify the structure of the organisation is now a regular activity.
Such a situation leads to the elaboration of internal procedures to carry out restructuring processes at the group level (Vx Group, Assurancia, TeliaSonera, Swedtech...). In most of the cases, these procedures go along with a dynamic contract policy. On the contrary, the social dialogue still is deeply rooted in the various countries of origin and the definition as well as the implementation of multinational practices, or even European practices, are lacking (Schalker verein) in spite of some exceptions (Danone).

  On the other hand, small companies often only have poor means for autonomous anticipation. They are very dependent from the regional environment and from the existence of cooperation networks. In this field, the reform in the approach of the Italian districts is an example of what a regional policy can produce. Moreover, job pools, even if they do not play a direct role in the monitoring of restructuring processes, are a precious tool for network construction and inter-company cooperation at the junction of economic and social fields.
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European corporate social responsibility and restructuring