Mélanie Laroche is Assistant Professor in the School of Industrial Relations (ERIUM), Université de Montréal and Gregor Murray is Canada Research Chair on Globalization and Work at the School of Industrial Relations (ERIUM) at Université de Montréal. Both are researchers at the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT).
The Political Economy of Work and Employment
Coordinated employer bargaining and globalisation: a study of the men's clothing industry in Quebec, 1974–2012
Article first published online: 22 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Industrial Relations Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Industrial Relations Journal
Volume 43, Issue 6, pages 472–493, November 2012
How to Cite
Laroche, M. and Murray, G. (2012), Coordinated employer bargaining and globalisation: a study of the men's clothing industry in Quebec, 1974–2012. Industrial Relations Journal, 43: 472–493. doi: 10.1111/irj.12003
- Issue published online: 22 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 22 NOV 2012
- Social Sciences and Humanities and Research Council (SSHRC)
- Fonds québécois de recherché sur la société et la culture (FQRSC)
This article looks at the political economy of employer coordination of collective bargaining in the clothing or apparel manufacturing industry in Canada over three phases of globalisation: from the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 1974 to the impact of the entry of China in the WTO. Although prevailing accounts emphasise the force of exogenous change and the likely decentralisation of bargaining structures and demise of bargaining coordination by employers, this case highlights how unions and employers sought to preserve their institutional model. We find that actor strategies and their interrelations are a central part of the explanation of this apparent institutional stability, despite the real force of economic, organisational and public policy factors. However, it is a dynamic stability in which change processes, reflecting shifting power relations, are leading to important shifts in the nature of employer coordination.