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TheFrenchwageregulationsystembasedoncollectivebargainingattheindustrylevelwas
establishedbythePopularFrontanddevelopedrapidlyfollowingtheSecondWorldWarinthe
contextofthelawof19February1950. [1] Forthreedecades,thesenegotiationstogetherwiththe
statessupervisionofthestatutoryminimumwageweretheframeworkfordecisionsinsettingwages.
Companylevelcollectivebargainingdevelopedfollowingthegrantingoffullrightsfortradeunion
activityatthecompanylevelbythelawof27December1968(whichopenedthepossibilityof
creatinglocalunionsectionsincompanieswithmorethan50employees)andespeciallywiththe
introductionofmandatoryannualnegotiationsbytheAurouxlawsof1982(B,J,2011
LC,2003).Thenumberofcompanylevelagreementsincreasedcontinuouslyfromtheearly
1980s,asreflectedintheannualreportsofcollectivebargainingpublishedbytheMinistryofLabour:
thenumberofcompanyagreementsrosefrom3,972agreementslistedin1984to33,869in2011. [2]
TheperiodinwhichthesigningofacompanylevelagreementatRenaultledtoheateddebatesin

1955,andthereforeoutsideofthelegalframeworkseemstobeofthedistantpasttoday(J,
2000).

Frenchindustrialrelationsstudiesfromthelate1980ssuggestthehypothesisofaweakeningofthe 2

predominanceofindustrylevelagreementsinfavourofagreementsconcludedatthecompanylevel.
Thishypothesisraisesthequestionofthecomplementarityorsubstitutabilityofthetwocollective
bargaininglevels.However,thishasneverbeendirectlyaddressed.Whilereferencetoweakeningat
theindustrylevelmoreorlessimpliesahypothesisofthesubstitutionofindustrylevelcollective
bargainingbythoseatthecompanylevel,theircombineddynamicssincethe2000semphasize,onthe
contrary,theirpotentialcomplementarity.Thefewstudieslinkingthetworemainfocusedononeor
theotherlevels. [3] Existingstudiesaremainlyinterestedinhowindustrylevelrecommendationsare
seenandintegratedintheworkplace(J,R,1984J,2003M,1996).
Whilehighlightingthevarietyofrolesandrelativeimportancethatactorsattributetocollective
agreementsattheindustrylevel,theydonotincludeananalysisofthedevelopmentandissues
involvedatcompanylevelbargaining. [4] Inthisarticleweconsiderthetwonegotiatinglevels
togethertostudytheirinterrelationship:docompanyandindustrylevelnegotiationshavedifferent
weightinthecompanysdecisions?Aretheydifferentintheircontent?Isthereconsistencybetween
thenegotiatedcontentandtheweightgiventothedifferentlevels?

Oneanswertothesequestionsisprovidedbythefavourabilityprinciplethatgovernsthe 3

relationshipbetweendifferentlevelsbywhichrulesandstandardsareproduced(ArticleL.22541of
theLabourCode).Theserangefromthemostgeneralthelawtothemostspecifictheemployment
contractandincludecollective,thatisindustrylevel,aswellascompanyagreements.Accordingto
thisprinciple,alowerlevelruleorstandardcanonlymodifyahigheroneifitimprovesitand,incase
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ofdispute,judgeswillchoosethestandardthatismostfavourabletotheemployee.Thishierarchyof
rulesandstandardstheoreticallyrequirescompanyagreementstobeatleastasfavourableas
industrylevelagreements.

However,thereisagapbetweenthisprincipleandthereality.First,itisnotalwayseasytodefine 4

whatsituationisbestfortheemployee.Thisisobviousintheproliferationofgiveandtake
agreementsinwhichemployeesoftenwaivesomeoftheirrightsorbenefitsonbehalfofthe
preservationofemployment. [5] Inaddition,severallawshaveintroducedexceptionstothe
favourabilityprinciple,startingwiththeAurouxlawsandcontinuingthroughtothelawof20August
2008whichintroducespossibleexceptionsforindustrylevelagreementsonworkingtime.Therehave
beenmajorchangesinthisbodyoflawsincetheearly2000s.Finally,eventheanalysisofthe
operationofconventionscollectives,theirabilitytogeneraterulesorstandards,demonstratestowhat
degreetheideaofasystemofstrictlyhierarchicalinstitutions(Jetal.,1993LC,
S,2007)mustbequalified.

Studiesinindustrialrelationsbyeconomistsandsociologistsproposetwodifferentapproaches.The 5

firstone,foundnotablyintheworkofFranoisS(1961,1993),seesthedefinitionof
collectivebargaininglevelsandtheirinterrelationshipasrelatedabovealltothenegotiatingstrategies
ofthedifferentactors.Thesecondapproachviewsbargaininglevelsthroughthedifferentiationof
theircontent(L,1993S,1991).JeanSforinstanceofferssuchareadingofthe
interrelationshipofdifferentlevelsofbargainingspecifictowageissues(S,1986,1999,2007):
ontheonehand,branchelevelagreementsprovideassessmentbenchmarksofrulesandstandards,
whilethecompanylevel,ontheotherhand,istheplacetodiscusswagerates.Hisworkfocuseson
boththevarietyofcontextsandhistoriesmarkingeachconventioncollectivewithspecificrulesand
standards(S,1987,1991,2009)andtheexceptionalstabilityofawagesystemsetupduring
the20thcentury,tracesofwhichcanbefoundattheendofthe19th.Toexaminethelinkagesbetween
collectivebargainingattheindustryandthecompanylevels,isthustoinvestigatetheduality
distinguishingtherolesofregulationfromthatofthedeterminationofwages.Weproposetoexamine
thetimelinessofthisinterpretationforthreereasons.

First,sincetheearly1990s,severallawshaveresultedinoraimedatstimulatingcollective 6

bargaining(BL,P,2008N,2011).Thepublicauthoritieshavemoreor
lessdirectlyencouragedcollectivebargaining.Thisinvolvestheobligationtonegotiateatcompany
level,oftenannually,oncertainthemessuchasactualwagebenefits,workingtime,genderequality,
andtheGestionprvisionnelledesemploisetdescomptences(JobsandSkillsForecast
ManagementSystemGPEC).Italsoinvolvesfinancialincentivesthroughthereductionofsocial
contributionsor,furtherupstream,changingtherulesofcollectivebargaining,e.g.,byrelaxingthe

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termsoftherecoursetomandatement,(whichallowsauniontonameormandateanemployeein
theabsenceofalocallyelectedunionrepresentative).Whiletheselegislativechangesfocusedon
encouragingcompanylevelcollectivebargaining,theymightjustaswellcreateapositivemomentum
tocollectivebargainingatindustrylevel.Duringthe2000s,therevaluationofthenationalstatutory
monthlyminimumwage(SalaireminimuminterprofessionneldecroissanceSMIC)principally
relatedtothereductionofworkingtimealsocontributedtotherevivalofcollectivebargaining
activityatindustrylevelwhichhadtonegotiatebranchelevelminimawhichhadbeensurpassedby
thelegalminimumwage(A,B,2011D,N,2012).

Thesecondmotivationforthisstudyisthecreationandincreaseddistributionofdataoncompanyand 7

industrylevelagreementsandtheintroductionofanewcodificationofcollectiveagreementsbythe
Directiondelanimationdelarecherche,destudesetdesstatistiques(Departmentforthe
CoordinationofResearch,StudiesandStatisticsDARES)(seebelow).Whilethesesourceshave
limitations,theirdevelopmentopensthewayforarenewalofcollectivebargainingstatisticalanalyses
(ADetal.,2009C,N,2009N,2011A,B,2011
A,2012J,2012). [6]

Finally,thedecisiontofocusonwagesisnotonlyjustifiedbecausetheyplayacentralroleinthe 8

collectivebargainingprocess(B,D,2002),butalsobecauseoftheprofoundchangesin
companieswagepracticesinrecentdecades,bothinform(C,D,P,2011b)as
wellasinwagelevels(D,N,2012).

Inthisarticle,weinvestigatehowcompaniesinterrelateindustryandcompanylevelcollective 9

bargainingpracticesindeterminingtheirwagepoliciesbyrelyingoncrossreferencingofthe
REPONSE20042005surveyandoftwocasestudies(seeBox1).Thefirstpartpresentstheresults
ofatypologyofformsofwageregulationinFrenchworkplaces.Thesecondpartextendsthe
statisticalanalysisbyestablishingtherelativeweightsofcompanyandindustrylevelcollective
bargainingintwoindustriesautomotiveconstructionandcallservicecentres.Thethirdpartanalyses
thethemesoftwolevelsofcollectivebargaining,theindustryandcompanylevels,andexaminesthe
differentiationinthecontentofthecollectivebargainingaccordingtothelevelsofwageregulation.
Finally,thelastpartconcernstheexistenceofotherlevelsofwageregulation.Twoareasarediscussed
here:theweightoftheindividuallevel,namelytherelationbetweentheemployeeandhisdirect
supervisorinacontextofrisingindividualisedcompensation,andthesignificantinfluenceofactors
whoareexternaltothecompany,inthiscasecontractorsandtheheadcompaniesinbusinessgroups.

Box1
TheDataUsed

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TheREPONSE20042005survey(enquteRelationsprofessionnellesetngociations
dentrepriseIndustrialRelationsandCompanyLevelCollectiveBargaining)isdedicatedto
thestudyofindustrialrelationsinFrance(existenceandfunctioningofemployeerepresentative
bodies,collectivebargaining,conflicts,etc.).Thissurveyofarepresentativesampleof2,930
workplacesinthenonagriculturalprivatesectoremployingatleast20employees,comparesthe
viewsofactorsbyinterviewingarepresentativeofmanagement,anemployeesrepresentative
(whenthereisone)andasampleofemployees.Wehaveonlyusedthemanagement
representativesquestionnaireinthisarticle.Itcontainsquestionsregardingthelatestwage
negotiations(whatdiscussionsorcollectivebargainingsessionstookplace,thetopicsnegotiated,
theroleofindustrylevelrecommendations,etc.)andthestateofindustrialrelationsinthe
workplace(presenceofemployeerepresentatives,therateofunionization,etc.).Italsoincludesa
seriesofquestionsprovidinginformationonthecharacteristicsoftheestablishment
(characteristicsoftheworkforce,sizeoftheworkplace,thecompanysaffiliationtoabusiness
group,etc.)andeconomicposition(marketshareanditsevolution,etc.).
Twocasestudiesareusedtoextendanddeepentheresultsofthestatisticalanalysis.Theywere
conductedbetweenFebruaryandAugust2010,incompanieswhichbelongtoverydifferent
industries:theautomotiveindustryandcallservicecentres.Thechoiceofcompanieswasnot
designedtoberepresentativenordiditaimatpreparingmonographsofthecollectivebargaining
processatindustrylevel.Aboveallitreflectedthedesiretohighlightthecharacteristicsoftwo
formsofenterprisewageregulation:inonecase,companylevelregulationappearsdominantin
theother,itisnonexistent.Workplaceswhoseprofilesaretypicalofsomeindustrieswerethen
targeted:alargeandlongestablishedcompanyintheautomotiveindustryontheonehand,on
theother,youngerandmediumsizecompaniesoperatingintheservicesector(fourcallservice
centreproviders).Whilethefirstindustryismarkedbyastrongtraditionofsocialdialogueat
companylevel,theotheris,incontrast,characterisedbyaweakinstitutionalizationoflabour
relations.InadditiontointerviewswithunionrepresentativesoftheFrenchDemocratic
ConfederationofLabour(CFDT)involvedinmandatoryannualcollectivebargainingonwages,
weexploitedcollectiveagreementsattheautomakerfrom2000concerningwages,employee
savingsplans,profitsharing.Themostrecentwageandsocialauditswerealsoutilized.Union
representativesinterviewedatthecallservicecentreproviderswerenotallowedtodisclosesuch
documents.However,muchinformation(socialaudits,wageagreements,definitionsofbonuses)
fortwoofthefourcallingservicecentreshavebeentransmittedtous.Managementandhuman
resourceofficialsinbothfieldsstudiedwerecontactedbutdidnotwishtoparticipateinthe
survey.

ConstructionofaTypologyofFormsofWageRegulation
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ConstructionofaTypologyofFormsofWageRegulation

AccordingtotheREPONSE20042005survey,collectivebargaining,ordiscussionsonwageswith 10

employeerepresentativesorwithemployees,occurredinnearly43%ofworkplacesof20ormore
employees(foradiscussionofthatfigure,seeBox2).Aboutsixoutoftenemployees(58%)were
concerned.Atthesametime,thesurveyquestionedthemanagementrepresentativesonthe
importancetheyplacedonbranchelevelrecommendationsinmakingdecisionstoincreasewages.
Over58%ofthemsaidtheytooksuchrecommendationsintoaccount,givingthemaprimaryrolein
30%ofcases(whichcorrespondsto59%and28%respectivelyofemployeesinthefield).Inthe
followingarticle,weconsidertheexistenceofcollectivebargainingattheworkplacelevelandthe
placegiventobrancherecommendationsasindicatorsoftheweightgiventocompanylevel
collectivebargainingontheonehand,andtotheindustrylevel,ontheother. [7]

Box2
WhatProportionofWorkplacesNegotiateWages?
GiventheannualobligationtonegotiatewagessincetheAurouxlawsof1982,thefactthatless
than43%ofworkplaceshavenegotiatedmayseemsurprising.TheDARESprovidesan
adjustedstatisticexcludingcasesinwhichtheabsenceofnegotiationsislinkedtothe
implementationofpastagreements,industrylevelagreements,orexistingregulationsinthe
publicservice,orwhenitisduetoaunilateraldecisionbymanagementorthelackofworker
representatives.In50%ofworkplaces,collectivebargaininghastakenplaceatsomelevel
(includingthecompanyorbusinessgroup),whichremainsrelativelylow.Thesefiguresreflect
thefactthattheannualobligationtonegotiatemaynotberespected,butitisalsobecauseitdoes
notapplytocompanieswithoutuniondelegates.Suchcompaniesrepresent48%ofthesampleof
theREPONSEsurvey.Amongcompanieswithatradeunionrepresentative,66%negotiated
wagesin2004.Thesizeofthecompanyisanotherkeycriterionsincetheappointmentofunion
delegatesismuchrarerincompanieswithfewerthan50employees.Amongworkplaces
belongingtocompanieswithmorethan50employeesandhavingatradeunionrepresentative
(37%ofworkplaces),70%ofmanagementrepresentativessaytheyhavediscussedornegotiated
wages.
Thequestionnairealsoincludedaquestiononthereasonsfortheabsenceofnegotiationsoasto
betterunderstandthesituationofthoseworkplacesreportingnothavingnegotiatedwages.Three
reasonsweregivenbymanagementrepresentatives:in30%ofcases,thiswasaunilateral
decisionbymanagementin29%ofcases,thelackofnegotiationwaslinkedtothe
implementationofanindustryagreement,andin24%tothelackofdemandonthepartof
employees.
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Inmostcaseswherenegotiationstookplacetheyledtoagreementseithersignedbyall
participants(51%)oronlysignedbysomeofthem(19%).Inonequarterofworkplaces(26%),
wagenegotiationsendedwithaunilateraldecisionoftheemployer.

Duetodifferencesinscopeandbecauseitsurveyedcompaniesandnotworkplaces,theAcemo
survey(SurveyontheActivityandtheConditionsofEmploymentoftheWorkforce)which
investigatedcollectivebargainingandemployeerepresentationin2007provideddifferentresults
toquestionswhich,nevertheless,weresimilartothoseofREPONSE.AccordingtoC
andN(2009),only14%ofcompaniesnegotiatedin2007regardlessofthesubject
matter.TheAcemosurvey,basedonasampleoffirmswithmorethantenemployees,hasa
greaternumberofsmallcompanies,whiletheworkplacesinREPONSEoftenbelongtolarge
businessgroupswhicharemorelikelytohaveheldnegotiations.Thesefacts,plustakinginto
considerationonlythoseagreementswhichwereactuallysigned,explainthediscrepancywith
thefiguresprovidedbySanviAD,DenisFandErwanG(2009).
Accordingtothem,lessthan25%ofemployeesnomatterwhatthesizeofthecompanyin
whichtheyworkwerecoveredbyacompanyagreementonwagesandbonusesin2004while,
accordingtotheREPONSE20042005survey,collectivebargainingonwagesatthecompany
levelinvolved58%ofemployeesinworkplacesof20ormoreemployees.

Anotherpointinthesurveyquestionedmanagementrepresentativesabouttheapplicableconvention 11

collective. [8] Responsescanbegroupedbyconventioncollective,butgiventhesmallnumberof


workplacesinthesampleforsomeconventionscollectives,somecombinationshavebeennecessary.
WehaveutilisedtheanalyticaltableoftheConventionsregroupespourlinformationstatistique
(CombinedAgreementsforStatisticalInformationCRIS)developedbytheDARES.Thefirstlevel
ofcombinationsynthesisesinformationandorganizesouranalysisonconventionscollectives,
classifiedinto25professionalbranches.

OurgoalistosyntheticallypresentthedifferenttypesofwageregulationinFrenchworkplaces.We 12

performedahierarchicalclusteranalysisfromthevariablesindicating,foreachbranche,theshareof
workplaceswherenegotiationsonwageshadtakenplaceandtheweightthatmanagement
representativeshadgiventoindustrylevelrecommendations(primary,secondary,unimportant).In
doingso,wefounditpossibletodistinguishthreeprofilesofbranchesdescribingasmanyformsof
interrelationshipbetweenthetwolevelsofcollectivebargaining,atthecompanyandtheindustry
levels(seeTable1).

Havingconstructedatypology,weutilisedanumberofvariablesfromtheREPONSEsurveyto 14
13

describethewageregulationprofilesandidentifytheirmaindistinguishingfeatures.Wetookinto
accountthestructuralcharacteristicsofworkplaces(size,legalstructure),thepresenceortheabsence
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ofunionrepresentativeswithinthem,theireconomicposition,andcriteriaforrevaluationsofwages
advancedbymanagementrepresentatives. [9] Ourgoalistodescribethehighlightedprofilesall
thingsnotbeingequal.Withoutattemptingtodefinethereasonsforbelongingtoaparticularprofile,
ouranalysisprovidesaheuristicinterpretationoftheformsofinterrelationshipbetweenbargaining
levels.

FirstProfile:MixedWageRegulation

Thefirstprofile,ofmixedwageregulation,includesarelativemajorityofalmost42%ofworkplaces 15

andover49%ofemployees.Itincludesthefollowingbranches:metallurgyandsteel,chemicals
andpharmaceuticals,plastics,rubberandfuels,glassandbuildingmaterials,agrofoodand
bankingandinsurance.Itismarkedbythesignificantweightofbothlevelsofcollectivebargaining:
55%ofworkplacesreportedhavingnegotiatedwagesandtheyarealsomorelikelythanaverageto
takeintoaccounttheindustrysrecommendations,althoughtheyareoftenconsidered(by39%of
workplaces)tobeofsecondaryimportance.Companylevelbargainingoftenfocusesonemployee
savingsplanandsocialinsuranceschemesinadditiontowages.Theintensityofwagenegotiationsis
relatedtoarelativelyhighuniondensitycompaniesinwhichtheproportionofunionisedemployees
exceeds10%oftheworkforcearetypicalofthisprofileandtothemorefrequentpresenceofunion
delegates.

Thisregulationprofileischaracteristicoflargeworkplaces(over100employees)employingfew 16

women,ofteninmanufacturingindustry(orinthebankingandinsurancesector).Theyhaverelatively
highsalesrevenue(between10and100millioneuros)andhavefunctionedcontinuouslyfora
considerableperiodoftime(oftenover20years)onalargescalemarket(atleastnational).Theyare
usuallysubsidiaries,belongingtoabusinessgroup,whosebusinessactivityispartofamultilevel
subcontractingchain.Outsourcingactivitiesoftenaccountforatleast50%oftheirrevenuewhilethey
arealsosubcontractorsthemselves.Theseestablishmentsreporthavinggreaterdifficultyin
forecastingtheiractivityandsettingtargetsforprofitabilityandgrowthinmarketshare.Priority
criteriaindecisionstoincreasewagesaretheirfinancialresultsandtheirconcernsinmaintaininga
healthysocialclimate.

SecondProfile:NonNegotiatedWageRegulation

Thesecondprofile,nonnegotiatedwageregulation,involves31%ofworkplacesandmorethan 17

25%ofemployees.Whilequitediverse,workplacesinthisprofileneverthelesshaveacommonorigin
inservicesectorswithaweaktraditionofcollectivebargainingsuchashotels,cafes,restaurants,

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consultantsandbusinessserviceproviders,andcultureandcommunication.Thisprofileis
markedbyweakcollectivebargainingactivityatbothlevels:only36%ofworkplaceshavehad
negotiationsonwagesandoverhalfdonotattributeanyimportancetoindustryrecommendations.
Frequentlyadvancedexplanationsfortheabsenceofwagebargainingattheworkplacelevelarethe
employersunilateraldecisionorthelackofdemandbyemployees.Thepresenceofuniondelegatesis
rareandunionisationratesarelow(lessthan5%ofemployees).

Workplacesaretypicallysmaller,withlessthan50employees,andtheyareolder,withover20years 18

continuity.Theyareoftensubsidiariesofbusinessgroupslistedonthestockexchange.Theyalso
reportlessfrequentlytohaveactedassubcontractors. [10] Profitabilityisoneofthemainstrategic
objectivesoftheseworkplaces.Instructionsfromtheheadcompanyandincreasesinthestatutory
minimumwagefrequentlyweighondecisionstoincreasewages.Ontheaverage,theworkforceis
female,young,skilled(withmanymanagerial,professionalandintermediateprofessions),andstable,
withtheproportionoftemporarycontractsandFixedTermContracts(Contratsduredtermine
CDD)beingratherlow.Individualcharacteristics,however,areverydifferentfromoneactivityto
another.Theexampleofthecategoryconsultantsandbusinessserviceprovidersissignificant:it
consistsprimarilyofengineeringactivitiesandresearchanddevelopment,wheretheworkforceis
highlyqualified.Butitalsoincludesactivitiessuchascallservicecentreswhereskilllevelsarelower.

ThirdProfile:WageRegulationbyIndustry

Thelastprofile,wageregulationbyindustryincludesmorethan27%ofworkplacesandalmost25% 19

ofemployees.Itistypicalofbranchessuchasconstructionandcivilengineering,food
distribution,cleaningactivitiesandsecurity,andhealthandsocialwork.Over59%of
managementrepresentativesconsidertherecommendationsoftheindustryasessentialandonly31%
ofthemhavenegotiatedwages:thisprofileismarkedbythepreponderantweightofthecollective
agreementatindustrylevelwithveryfewworkplacenegotiations.Theweaknessofsocialrelationsin
theworkplaceisexplainedbythefactthattherearefrequentlynounionrepresentatives.The
dominanceoftheindustrylevelalsoseemstobeacceptedbythemanagementrepresentativessince
theyareparticularlylikelytojustifythelackofcompanynegotiationsbypointingtotheapplicationof
anindustrylevelagreement.Inadditiontoreferencesbymanagementrepresentativestocollective,
thatistoindustrylevel,agreements,theyalsonotedthatchangesintheminimumwageplayeda
centralroleindecisionstoincreasewages.

Workplacesizeisnotadistinguishingcharacteristicofthisprofile.However,suchworkplacesare 20

moreoftenindependent,withmodestsalesrevenue(lessthanfivemillioneuros)andoperatingina
localmarket.Employeesworksafetyisoftenastrategicissueofthesecompanies.Thisregulating
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profileistypicalofestablishmentsemployinganunskilled,unstable,andveryfeminineworkforce:
theproportionofmanagerialandprofessionalemployeesandintermediateprofessionalsisoftenless
than15%oftheworkforce,withwomenmakingupover70%ofthetotal.Frequently,morethan5%
oftheemployeesofgivenestablishmentsworkonfixedterm(CDD)ortemporarycontracts.

Ourclusteranalysisrevealsthediversityinthepossibleformsofinterrelationshipbetweencollective 21

bargainingattheindustrylevelandatthecompanylevel.Usingarepresentativesurveyhasthe
advantageofdrawinganoverallpictureofwageregulationmodesamongFrenchcompanies.It
neverthelesshasthedisadvantageofnotbeingabletodirectlyrepresentthecollectiveandindividual
activitywithintheestablishment.Thecasestudiesherearecomplementaryandhelpmakeaspecific
analysisofhowcompanywagebargainingisconductedandaclearerunderstandingofthecompanys
positioninitsrelationshiptotheindustrylevel.

ActorsStrategiesandWageNegotiationProcessataCar
ManufacturerandFourCallServiceCentres

Thetwosituationsstudied,thatofacarmanufacturerandofthecallingservicecentreproviders,can 22

berespectivelyconsideredasbelongingtothestatisticalprofilesofmixedwageregulationandnon
negotiatedwageregulation.

Thethirdprofile,markedbytheweaknessofcompanylevelcollectivebargainingandtheweightof 23

regulationattheindustrylevelistypicalofwhathaslongbeenconsideredthemostcommoncasein
theFrenchlabourmarket.Assuch,ithasbeenthesubjectofnumerousindustrymonographs.These
includetheworkledbyAnnetteJ(2003)inwhichtheauthordistinguishesseveralconventions
collectivesmarkedbytheweightanddynamicofcollectivebargainingatindustrylevel.Theprofile
thatemergeshereissimilartothatofwageregulationbyindustry.Inbothcaseswefindthe
branchesofconstructionandcivilengineering,andofthecleaningindustry.J(2003)
combinesherstatisticalworkwithafieldstudyfromwhichsheconcludesthattheprominentweight
oftheindustrylevelisbasedonthebeliefsharedbythedifferentactorsthatthebrancheremains
therelevantlevelfortheregulationofindustrialrelations,giventhecharacteristicsoftheindustryand
theweaknessofcollectivebargainingatthecompanylevel.Displacingnegotiationstothecompany
levelislookedatasamarginalphenomenonwhichshouldbeoflimitedscope(p.13).Witha
differentperspective,wecanalsorefertotheworkofJeanMichelD(2008)onthecleaning
industry.

FundamentalsofMixedWageRegulationintheAutomotiveIndustry

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Thecasestudyintheautomotiveindustrycentresonaverylargecompanyownedbyaholding 24

companycreatedinthe1960sandwhich,inthefollowingdecade,boughtupseveralotherautomotive
manufacturers. [11] Today,thisbusinessgroup,whichhasemployeesinmanycountries,includesan
automotivemanufacturertheheartofitsactivityandfourotheractivities:abank,agroupdevoted
totheengineeringandproductionofautomotiveequipment,atransportationandlogisticsgroup,and
finallyamotorcyclemanufacturer.WhilethisgrouphadaprograminFranceuntilthemid2000sof
recruitingmanagersandprofessionals,thecompanyreduceditsoverallworkforceby16%between
1999and2009.In2009,itemployed70,580employees,ofwhom19%weremanagerialand
professionalemployees,20%whitecollaremployees,techniciansandsupervisors(Employs,
techniciensetagentsdematriseETAM)and60%bluecollarworkers.Atthetimeofthesurvey,
thegroupintendedtocontinueitsdownsizingpolicyinFrancebyclosingseveralplants.

Theanalysisofwagecollectivebargainingdemonstratesthesimilaritiesoftheautomakersprofileto 25

thatofthemixedwageregulation.Whilenegotiatorsattheannualcompanywagenegotiationsare
awareoftheindustrylevelrecommendations,theseinfactcarrylittleweightintheirdecisions.Here,
thebasicreferenceformanagerialandprofessionalemployeesisthenationalconventioncollective
forengineersandmanagerialandprofessionalemployeesinthemetalworkingindustriesof13March
1972.ETAMandbluecollarworkersareunderthejurisdictionoftheconventioncollectiveofthe
metalworkingindustryorlocalagreementssuchastheconventioncollectiveinthemetallurgical,
mechanical,andrelatedindustriesintheParisregionof16July1954.

Inadditiontothestatisticalprofiledescribedabove,theautomotivemanufacturerdemonstratedavery 26

pronounceddegreeofautonomyinitsrelationswiththebrancheduringmandatoryannualcollective
bargaining,probablybecauseitplaysanimportantroleintheindustry.Aboveall,itbelongstothat
categoryofcompanieslargecompaniesaffiliatedtotheUnionofMetalWorkingTradesand
Industries(UniondesindustriesetdesmtiersdelamtallurgieUIMM,formerlytheUnionof
MetallurgicalandMiningIndustries)whichhashistoricallyhadgreatautonomyofactioninFrance
(F,2007).Intermsofwagepolicies,themanufacturersautonomyisprimarilyreflectedin
thefactthatthetimetablefixedearlierintheyearbythebusinessgroupsmanagementisindependent
ofeventsoutsidethegroup,suchaschangesinthenationalminimumwageorindustrylevelminima.
Infact,theautomakerpayswagessuperiortoboththeseminima.Between2001and2009,the
overallwageincreaseexceeded18%whilethevalueofthepointdefinedinthemetallurgical
industrysconventioncollectiveofbluecollarworkers,whitecollaremployees,technicians,and
supervisors(OETAM)intheParisregionrosebyjustover5%overthesameperiod. [12] Relying
primarilyontheprecedingevolutionofsalesfortheautomotiveindustry,managementstudiesthe
wagepoliciesofitsmaincompetitorsandindicatesduringthenegotiationseitherthatitisreadytobe

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generous,orthat,aspartofthegroupsgeneralpolicyofreducingthenumberofemployeesinFrance,
itcannotdobetter.

Thisrelativeautonomyintermsofpaydecisionswasalsofoundinthemanufacturersjobs 27

classification.Thelatter,builtonthebasisofthemetallurgyagreementofJune1974,wasamendedin
themid2000s. [13] ThecompanysOETAMclassificationguaranteesahighercareersalary
comparedtothatoftheconventioncollective.Employeesstartatahighercoefficient(170,not140),
aboveboththeminimumwage(forexample,around100eurosmorepermonthin2009)aswellasthe
industrylevelminima,andreachhighercoefficients(240andnot215or225).Techniciansand
supervisorsstartatcoefficient255(andnotat215).Ontheotherhand,theproliferationof
intermediatecoefficientsfourintermediatecoefficients(185,195,200,and320)havebeencreated
isintendedtoslowcareeradvancementandindoingsotocreateawagesystemspecifictothe
company.

Thereisalargedegreeofautonomyforcompanynegotiationscomparedtothatoftheindustrylevel 28

coveringdecisionsonadjustingbothwagesandjobclassifications.Thistypeofbusinesspractice
divergesfromthetraditionalmodeloforganizationoflabourrelationsinFrance.J(2003)also
considersthattheconventioncollectiveofmetallurgyistypicalofatransformationofthebranche
levelregulation.Buttheroleofthebranchehasnotdisappeared:itisstillthereference,evenifitis
onlytohaveabettermeasureofonesdifferenceswithit.AsnotedbyJackyFetal.,(2005)
inthecaseoflargecompaniesintheautomobileindustry,itispartofaminimumdistributionof
advancesonpayandclassifications(pp.4647).Theideaofareference,althoughpresentbut
secondary,seemsappropriate.Itisentirelydifferentinthecallservicecentreproviders.

NonNegotiatedWageRegulation:theCaseofCallServiceCentres

Asummaryofthefourcallservicecentresstudied(seeBox3)showsthatthemandatoryannual 29

negotiationispartofanorganizationalstrategyofthegrouptowhicheachcentrebelongs.

Box3
PresentationoftheFourCallServiceCentresStudied
ThefirstclientcontactcentreisaFrenchgroupwhichoperatesworldwide.In2009,thecompany
wasreorganizedleadingtothedevelopmentofaparentcompany,composedofmanagerialand
professionalemployeesheadingfouroperatingcompaniesinmetropolitanFrance.Theparent
companysignedanagreementonthisoccasionestablishingaUnitconomiqueetsociale
(EconomicandSocialGroupUES)involvingfivecompanies.Eachonehaditsown
mandatoryannualnegotiations,makingfiveseparatewagenegotiationsforthegroup.Inearly
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2009,theclientcontactcentrestudiedhadaworkforceofabout6,800ofwhom80%were
employees,12%supervisorsand8%managers.

ThesecondclientcontactcentrealsobelongstoaFrenchgroup.Thisgrouphas100%ownership
ofonecompanylocatedinFranceaswellasofanotherlocatedinMorocco.Employeesare
spreadacrossadozensitesinFranceandtwositesinMorocco.InFrance,morethan3,300
employeeswerelistedinlate2009,some96%ofwhomwereETAMand4%managers.

Thethirdclientcontactcentrebelongstoamajoroutsourcinggroup.Thegroup,basedinFrance,
hassixsitesinFrance,asiteinTunisiaandasiteinSpain.Itemploysapproximately2,500
employees(halfofthemattheFrenchsites).In2009,theworkforceatthesixFrenchsites
consistedofapproximately82%semiskilledorunskilledwhitecollaremployees,13%
supervisorsand5%managerialandprofessionalemployees.Thiscallservicecentre,likethe
secondexamplestudied,holdsonesinglemandatoryannualbargainingsessionatits
headquarters.

ThefourthandlastcontactcentrestudiedisheadquarteredandhasitsprimarysiteintheParis
region,towhichsixadditionalsitesfinanciallyandlegallyautonomousweregraduallyadded
between2003and2009.ThecompanyoperatessevencontactcentresclosetoParis.Itsaysithas
decidednottodevelopoffshore.Itemploysapproximately3,300peopleandholdsamandatory
annualnegotiationsessionforeachcentre.

Thefourcallservicecentreprovidershavecontrastingsituationsbutcanbeclassifiedasbeinginthe 30

nonnegotiatedwageregulationprofile:collectivebargainingatneithertheindustrynorthecompany
levelseemtoplayaleadingroleinfixingwages.Whilethesecharacteristicsappearinthestatistical
definitionofthecorrespondingprofile,theanalysisoftheactualsituationofcallservicecentre
providershighlightshowthiscanleadtominimisingtheissuesofwagebargaining.Comparedtothe
caseoftheautomotivemanufacturer,wagebargaininghereseemstohavemarginalimportance.
Instructionsfromheadquartersaremoredecisiveindecisionstoincreasewagesthanthemandatory
annualnegotiationitself.Attentionispaidtoindustrylevelbargainingbuttheresultsareusually
limitedtothestrictrespectofchangesintheminimumwagewhichinfactplayacentralrolein
collectivebargainingatboththeindustryaswellasthecompanylevelhere(C,2012).The
timingofnegotiationsisstrategicallythoughtoutandbasedondecisionsonthenationalstatutory
minimumwage:negotiationsbegininthespringbeforetherevaluationoftheSMIC(minimumwage)
on1stJuly(until2009).Thishascausedsomedegreeoffrustrationamonguniondelegateswhohad
previouslynegotiatedincreaseswhichweresubsequentlyexceededbytheincreaseintheminimum
wage.

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Therehasnotbeenaconsistentscheduleofwagebargainingattheindustrylevelsince1999within 31

theframeworkoftheconventioncollectiveof13August1999entitledServiceProvidersinthe
ServiceSectorwhichistheconventioncollectiveofreferenceforthefourcasesstudied.Apriori,
wageagreementsoramendmentsaresignedannually.Theyarenotsystematicallytendu(extended)
[14] thisisnotablythecaseoftheagreementsofNovember2009andJanuary2011eventhoughthe
implementationofanaccordisfrequentlydeterminedbyitsextension(S,K,1993).In
thebestofcases,whentheextensiondoestakeplace,itbecomeseffectiveaftertwomonthsaswith
theagreementsofSeptember2007andthatofSeptember2011.Inmostcasesitiseffectivebetween
fiveandelevenmonthsfollowingthesignatureoftheagreementoramendment,whichmayhelp
postponefuturewagenegotiations.Itcanthusbeassumedthatthefactthatnoagreementswere
reachedin2002,2004,2006,and2010istheresultofalongnegotiationprocessfollowedbythe
extensionoftheagreements.

Onjobclassifications,callservicecentreproviderscomplywiththebenchmarkemployment 32

classificationgridoftheserviceprovidersconventioncollective,and,whilesomeofthemsetup
specificcompanygrids,theydosowithinthisframeworkasallowedbythecollectiveagreement.
Compliancewiththejobclassificationprovidedinthecollectiveagreementdoesnotpreventthecall
servicecentresfrombeingautonomousinsettingtherulesforpromotions.Oneofthecallservice
centresstudied,forexample,appliesitscompanyjobclassificationatthefrontierbetweensemi
skilledorunskilledemployeesandsupervisorsbycreatingapostofassistantchefdquipe
(assistantshiftsupervisor).Thiscategoryfitsinbetweenthesupervisorandthatofthechefde
projetjunior(juniorprojectmanager),presentinthecollectiveagreementclassification.Thishas
becomeanobligatorystepinthecaseofinternalpromotionfromemployeestatustothatofforeman
orsupervisor.Anothercentreorganizesatransitiontothesupervisorcategoryonthebasisofan
individualinterviewafterfouryearsasatlconseiller(telephoneconsultant).Thus,clientcontact
centresgenerallyadoptthejobclassificationoftheproviderscollectiveagreementwhilemodulating
themethodsofpromotion.Theyrespectthescaleofminimumwageswhentheagreementisextended.
Whenitisnot,employerswhoaremembersoftheorganizationswhichhavesignedthecollective
agreementcanarrangetopostponeapplicationoftheagreementforafewmonthsforreasonsof
competitiveness. [15]

Wecanassumethataffiliationtoaparticularconventioncollectiveforcallservicecentreprovidersis 33

akintoastrategicchoiceguidedbyacostminimisationobjective.Thesocalledintegratedcall
servicecentres(becausetheyareincorporatedintolargecompanies)aremostlyundertheauthorityof
theconventioncollectiveofthetelecommunicationsindustryof26April2000.Meanwhile,call
servicecentreproviderswhichweresocalledexternaliss(outsourced)andhadbeencreated
throughrestructuring,mergersandacquisitions,werethenattachedtotheSyntec,theconvention
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collectiveof15December1987applicabletothestaffoftechnicaldesignoffices,consulting
engineeringfirmsandconsultingcompanies.Thecompaniesstudiedaretodayundertheauthorityof
thenationalagreementofserviceprovidersof13August1999.Butthelatteragreementoffersfewer
benefitstoemployeesthanthoseoftheSyntecandoftelecommunications.Benefitspresentinthe
Syntec,suchasvacationbonuses,forexample,andthe100%wageincreaseforworkonpublic
holidaysandSundays,donotexistintheserviceprovidersagreement. [16] Nationalagreementsfor
grossminimumwagesforETAMworkers(employees,techniciansandsupervisors)underthe
SyntecarehigherthanthoseofETAMworkersundertheserviceprovidersinservicesector
agreementof13August1999.

Ouranalysespointtotheexistenceofamultiplicityofwageregulationsthatcanresultinasmany 34

differentformsofinterrelationshipbetweenindustryandcompanynegotiations.Inthis,theyconfirm
theresultsofpreviousstudiesonthediversityoftheroleofthebranche(seeespeciallyJ,
2003S,1991).Theyaredistinguishedbystressingtheroleofcompanycollectivebargaining
inwageregulation:theseseemtooutweightheindustrylevelincertaincases,particularlyinthe
mixedregulationprofile.Thisresultsupportsthehypothesisofthelossoflegitimacyofthebranche
intheFrenchsystemofwageregulation(J,2003).Shouldweconcludethatthebrancheis
noweverywhereinretreat?No,onthecontraryitretainsadominantplaceinsomecases,asshown
withthewageregulationbyindustryprofile.Andthestudyoftheexperienceofwagenegotiationsin
fourcallservicecentresandatacarmanufactureralsopointsoutthatintermsofremuneration,itis
impossibletoignoretheindustrylevelevenwherethisleveldoesnotprovedeterminantinthe
mandatoryannualnegotiations.

Thisfirstpartofthearticlehasallowedustooutlinethreetypicalidealformsofinterrelationship 35

betweenthetwolevelsofcollectivebargaining.InlinewiththeworkofS(1993),wecan
assumethatthediversityofmodesofinterrelationshipthuspresentedcorrespondstothevarietyof
actorsstrategiesintheirconstructionandconfrontation.

IndustryandCompany:NegotiatingwithDifferentContent

TheuseoftheREPONSEsurveyandcasestudiesenablesustobroadentheanalysisofthe 36

interrelationshipofcompanyandindustrylevelcollectivebargainingandthestudyoftheircontents.

WhatisNegotiatedandWhere?

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TheREPONSEsurveyprovidesafairlyaccuratepictureofthecontentofindustryandcompany 37

levelnegotiations.Asurveyquestionliststhetopicswhichmanagementrepresentativesconsultin
industrylevelcollectiveagreements.Weusedtheanswerstothisquestionasindicatorsofthecontent
ofindustrylevelnegotiations. [17] Themostfrequentlycitedissuewasworkingtime(seeTableA2in
theAppendix),butthisresultshouldbeinterpretedastakingintoaccountthedateofthesurveyand
themovetothe35hoursworkweek.Threeoutoftenthemesraisedinthequestionnairearedirectly
relatedtowages:thedeterminationofthewagehierarchyofjobclassificationsthecalculationof
bonusesandemployeesavingsschemes(seeTable2). [18] Thefirsttwoarefrequentlymentioned
(nearlytwooutofthreeestablishmentscitethewagehierarchyofjobclassifications)whileemployee
savingsschemesarediscussedonlyinfrequently.Otherissuespotentiallyrelatedtowagepoliciesare
alsodefinedinreferencetotheconventioncollective,includingsupplementarypensionsand
occupationalequality(inmorethantwothirdsofworkplaces),althoughmanagementrepresentatives
saythattheyonlyrarelyconsultthenationalagreementonthesepoints(seeTableA2inthe
Appendix).Theseresultsreinforcewhathasbeenobservedinrelevantfieldstudies:theindustrylevel
collectiveagreementismainlyutilisedindefininggeneralandlongtermprinciplesstartingwiththe
wagehierarchyofjobclassifications.

AnotherquestionoftheREPONSEsurveyclarifiesthecontentofcompanylevelnegotiations(see 39
38

Table3).Formorethantwothirdsofthosemanagementrepresentativeswhoreportedhaving
discussedornegotiatedwagesin2004theevolutionoftheoverallwagebillwasthemajorissue.This
wasfollowedbythequestionofbonusesandthemeslinkedtoindividualisation:first,theshareof
individualincreases,followedbytheirawardcriteria.

Ingeneral,thestatisticalanalysisofthecontentofnegotiationsshowsacleardifferencebetweenthe 41
40

topicscoveredatthecompanylevelandthosediscussedattheindustrylevel.Thisdifferenceechoes
thedistinctionreportedbyS(1986,1999,2007)betweentherolesofwageregulation,whichis
vestedinindustrylevelcollectiveagreements,andthatofwagedetermination,whichisreservedfor
companies.Thebrancheremainstheframeworkforthedeterminationofthewagehierarchy,the
companyremainingtheplacefordiscussionsontheamountandformsofcompensation.Wethusfind
thatstabilityinthehierarchyofwagenegotiationsalreadymentionedbyS.Bycombiningthis
informationwithwageregulationprofiles,ouranalysesunderlinetowhatdegreethisdivisionpersists
whilebeingmoreorlessevidentaccordingtotheformsofinterrelationshipbetweenindustrylevel
andcompanylevelcollectivebargaining.

FrequentNegotiationsattheCompanyLevelDoNotEncroachonthe
NegotiationThemesatIndustryLevel

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Thecontentofcollectivebargaininginworkplaceswithamixedwageregulationprofile,markedby 42

frequentworkplacenegotiations,differslittlefromtheoverallsample.Thefocusofworkplace
negotiationsontheevolutionoftheoverallwagebill(morethan74%ofworkplaces)isevenmore
pronounced.Discussiononthecriteriaforindividualincreasesremainsaminoritytheme,asitisinthe
overallsample(seeTable3).Theindustrylevelcollectiveagreementretainsanimportantroleinthe
definitionofwagethemes:besidesthequestionofthewagehierarchy,workplacesaremorelikelyto
refertotopicsrelatedtobonusesandemployeesavingsschemes. [19]

Besidesthischaracterisationofthetypologicalprofile,theexampleoftheautomotivemanufacturer, 43

wherethereisonlyalimitedandnonspecificreferencetothebranche,emphasizesthatthe
companysindependenceinrelationtoindustryrecommendationsforwageincreasesalsoliesinits
abilitytodefineitsownjobclassificationsandminimumwagesandinitsparticularnegotiating
timetable.Itcanalsobefoundintheverycontentofthemandatoryannualcollectivebargaining.
Therearefivecomponentsnegotiatedinthesenegotiationssessions.Thethreemostimportantare:the
percentageofthegeneralwageincrease,whichremainsthemainobjectiveofthenegotiationsthe
percentageofindividualincreasesandpromotionsandtheincreaseintheguaranteedminimum
compensation.

Thepercentagegeneralwageincreaseatthismanufacturersince2001hasbeenanannualaverageof 44

about1.85%withaminimumof1%inFebruary2009andamaximumof2.4%inJanuary2008.In
additiontodiscussionsonthepercentageofgeneralwageincrease,akeyissueistofindaminimum
acceptabletobothpartiesinvolved:forthegeneralincreasetoappearsignificant,thoseunion
representativesinterviewedroutinelypracticeanddefendalimitingminimumpolicywherebythe
overallpercentageincreaseislinkedtoaguaranteedminimuminabsolutevalue,namelyatalon,a
stuborminimumlimit,ofxeuros. [20] Theyseethisasaboosttothemoremodestsalaries.
Forexample,duringnegotiationsin2008,anagreementwasreachedinJanuaryonanoverallincrease
of2.4%withaminimumof40eurosfortheOETAM.Allemployeeswithamonthlygrosssalaryof
lessthan2,400euroswerethereforeguaranteedanextra40eurospermonth,makingtheincrease
greaterthan2.4%.Thepracticeofaminimumlimitisalsofoundinthepercentageincreaseinthe
budgetdedicatedtoindividualincreases.Thesepercentagesvaryaccordingtoprofessionalcategory.
Notaslargeasthegeneralwageincrease,theirannualaveragesince2001isaround0.7%fortheblue
collarworkers,0.9%forsemiskilledorunskilledwhitecollaremployees,and1.2%fortechnicians.

Thethirdcomponentofthemandatoryannualnegotiations,theminimumguaranteedannual 45

remuneration,isalegacyofthemetallurgybranch. [21] Theguaranteedannualcompensationtakes


intoaccountallamountssubjecttosocialsecuritycontributionsexceptforthesenioritybonus.

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Relativelywellacceptedtoday,itsstructureisrarelysubjecttodebate.Between2001and2011,it
increasedby37.4%inaperiodinwhichtheconsumerpriceindexincreasedby18.8%.

Finally,despitetheirfrequency,companylevelcollectivebargainingdonotencroachonthe 46

negotiatingthemestraditionallyassignedtotheindustrylevel,startingwiththewagehierarchyofjob
classifications.Theyfocusprimarilyontheformsandtheactualamountsofcompensation.

AWeakRoleforNegotiationsDoesNotMeanaChangeintheirContent

Inthesecondstatisticalprofile,thatofnonnegotiatedwageregulation,industrylevel 47

recommendationsweighonlyslightly,ifatall,ondecisionstoincreasewages.Management
representativesreportthattheyconsultanindustrylevelcollectiveagreementlessoftenthanthe
average,nomatterwhatthewageissueconsidered(seeTable2).Thelowweightofcompanylevel
collectivebargainingdoesnot,however,altertheircontent:amongtheworkplacesattachedtothe
nonnegotiatedregulatoryprofile,topicsinfactdiscussedduringnegotiationswerenotdifferent
fromthegeneralnorm(Table3).

Aswehaveseen,inthecaseofcallservicecentreproviders,thereferencetotheindustrylevel 48

collectiveagreementismainlyintheconstructionofjobclassificationandintheapplicationofwage
minimafornewhires.Moregenerally,thenationalminimumwage(SMIC)tendstoreplacethe
brancheminimafortelephoneconsultants(C,2012C,G,2008).Whenabase
wageincreaseisenactedinacallcentreserviceprovider,itisgenerallylimitedtotheapplicationofan
extendedindustrylevelagreementor,inacasemorefavourabletoemployees,priortoapossible
extension.Itshouldberememberedthatmandatoryannualcollectivebargainingdonotguaranteean
increaseinwages.Thesemaybefrozen.Giventheimpossibilityofnegotiatinganincreasegreater
thanthechangesintheminimumwageand/orbrancheminima,uniondelegatesturnedtoactingon
fringebenefits,whichcomplicatedthecontentofannualnegotiations.Indeed,mostofthose
negotiationsstudiedcentredonthemodeofpaymentofmealsatorneartheworkplacethelimitation
ofunpaiddaysforillnessanextradayoffincaseofthedeathofarelativeorofxyearsofservice
buyinganadditionalmicrowavefortherefectory,oranincreaseinabonuscoupledwitharevisionof
itsawardcriteria.

IndustriesRemainthePrincipalLocusfortheDeterminationofWage
Hierarchies

Theregulatoryroleofwagestraditionallyassignedtothebrancheisreinforcedamongworkplaces 49

characterisedbythewageregulationbyindustryprofile:thereferencetotheconventioncollective
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isparticularlyfrequentinthedeterminationofthewagehierarchyforjobsclassifications(over76%of
workplaces).However,forotherwageissues(bonusesandemployeesavingsschemes,seeTable2),
theroleoftheindustryleveldoesnotappearreinforced.Notonlyiscompanylevelbargainingless
frequent,butitisalsocharacterisedbyhavingrelativelylesscontent:negotiationsconcerningthe
evolutionoftheoverallwagebillandthepartofindividualwageincreasesareparticularlyuncommon
(seeTable3).Awelldocumentedfindinginstudiesonindustrialrelationsshowsthatduetothe
limitedscopeofcompanylevelnegotiations,theindustrylevelplaysakeyroleinquestions
concerningwagesthroughthedefinitionofthewagehierarchy.

Thecrossanalysisofformsofwageregulationandthethemesraisedinnegotiationshighlightsa 50

dividinglineintherespectiverolesoftheindustrylevelandthatofthecompanyinwagedecisions.
Thedistributionofthemesdefinedbyreferencetotheindustrylevelontheonehand,andnegotiated
atcompanylevelontheother,seemsparticularlystablefromoneprofiletoanother.Thisfindingonce
againremindsusofthestabilityofthesetofsocialstandardsreferredtobytheactorsastheytryto
evaluatethesalarylevelsofferedoraccepted(S,1999,p.24)thatconstitutesthewagesystem.
Butthesymmetrybetweentheprofilesendsthere:whilethethemesinquestionarethesame,their
weightinthedeterminationofwagesdiffersfromoneprofiletoanother.

OtherRelevantLevelsofWageRegulationtoTakeintoAccount

Sofarwehavepaidattentiontothecollectivebargainingatindustrylevelaswellasthatatthe 51

company.Thisgoeswithoutsaying,ofcourse,intermsofwagessincetheyremainthemainwage
bargaininglociduringallthetransformationsoftheindustrialrelationssysteminFrance.However,
thedifficultiesincollectivebargainingbroughttoourattentionbytheunionrepresentatives
interviewedraisequestionsconcerningtherelevanceandweightofotherwageregulationloci.This
questionarisesinparticularbecausestatisticalstudiespointtoaratherlimitedinfluenceofcompany
levelnegotiations(M,S,1997B,D,2004)aswellasthoseatthe
industrylevel(A,B,2011A,2012)concerningwages.Wecandefinea
multiplicityofwageregulationlocifromthedefinitionoftheemploymentcontracttothe
establishmentofinternationalrulesattheEuropeanlevelorbytheInternationalLabourOrganization
(ILO).Inlinewithourempiricalanalysis,tworegulationlevelsstandoutasplayingamajorrole:a
subcompanyleveldefinedbytheindividualisationofwages,andanother,supracompany,level
definedbytheinfluenceofeconomicactorsexternaltothecompany,inthiscasecontractorsandthe
holdingorparentcompanieswhichareattheheadofthebusinessgroup.Althoughtheyarenot
institutionallyrecognisedasplacesofwagebargaining,asaretheindustryandcompanylevels,they
canbeunderstoodassuitablelocifordiscussionsofactualwagelevels.

RoleofContractorsandofGroupParentCompaniesinWageRegulation
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RoleofContractorsandofGroupParentCompaniesinWageRegulation

Aswehavealreadynoted,theREPONSE20042005surveydemonstratesthedegreetowhich 52

directivesfromgroupheadquartersweighondecisionstoincreasewages,especiallywhenthewage
regulationisofamixedornonnegotiatedtype.Thestudyofwagenegotiationpracticesatcall
servicecentreprovidersandtheautomotivemanufacturersuggeststhattounderstandtheunderlying
basisofwagebargaining,itisnolongersufficienttosimplyidentifywhatishappeningatthelevelof
thecompanysensustrictoaswellasattheindustrylevel.Thegrouporcontractorsroleand
motivationinmanagingchangesintheoverallwagebillaredecisiveinbothfieldstudies,evenif
empiricalobservationremainsdifficultsincebusinessconfidentialityinthisquestionstillprevails
(M,1966).

Majorcontractorsatcallservicecentreprovidersplayacentralroleinmaintaininglowwagesby 53

loweringpricesforrequestedservices,evengoingfurtherthanthesocalledreverseauctions
currentlycondemnedbytheactorsthemselves.Unionrepresentativesaswellasemployersagreeon
onepointtheytakeforgranted:clientcontactcentreshavelittlemarginforwagebargaininggiventhe
demandsoftheircontractors.Negotiationsbetweenthecallcentreanditscontractorplayacentralrole
intheprocessofwagedetermination,whichisclearfromtheremarksofthepersonneldirectorofa
largecontractor:Wediscusswagesendlessly.Wages,thatistherealdiscussion,thatiswherethereis
amargin.Whatdoesthecontractornegotiatewiththeprovider?Henegotiatesaprice,thepriceper
hourofproduction,whatonegetsfor60minutesofworkonthephone.Withlabourcosts,
dependingontheindividualcase,representingbetween70and80%ofcallservicecentresales
revenue,costcompetitivenessiscentralandfocusesonwageconditions(alsodemonstratedby
MathieuBetal.,2008).Thisillustratesthepotentialimportanceofstrictmonitoringof
industrylevelminimaand,especiallyforcallcentreoperators,ofthenationalminimumwage.

Inadditiontothedemandsmadebycontractors,theorganizationofcallservicecentresinagrouphas 54

aninfluenceonthecourseofcollectivebargainingandtheiroutcome.Inoneofthegroupsstudied,
eachproductionsiteisfinanciallyandlegallyautonomous,and,assuch,conductsitsownwage
negotiations.However,theholdingcompanyplaysacentralrole,withoutdirectlyparticipating,by
supportingoropposingnegotiations.Inanothercallservicecentre,compulsoryannualnegotiationsfor
allsitesareheldattheheadquartersintheParisregionorateachterritorialentitywhenthegroup
decidedtodividetheFrenchmarketintoseveralregionalareas.Thusuniondelegatesactivitiesare
severelydissuadedandhandicappedbytheveryorganizationalmodeloftheclientcontactcentres.At
theheadofthegroup,aleadingorparentcompanymanagesthecontractsanddistributesthemamong
itsproductionsites,whichareallautonomoussubsidiaries.Itthusdeterminestheprofitsthateachsite
canearnonservicesprovided,therebysettingthegeneralframeworkforthewagepolicyofeachlocal
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callcentre:strictcompliancewiththeminimumwageforthegreatestnumberwithastrategyof
delayingapplicationifpossiblewhichbringsusultimatelytothedecisiveroleofthestateinwage
regulation(S,1961).

Mandatoryannualcollectivebargainingplayakeyroleintheautomotivemanufacturersgroup,since 55

theytakeplacefirstandsetthetoneforsubsequentnegotiationsatothersubsidiaries,particularlythe
transporterandtheequipmentmanufacturer,aswellasatmajorsubcontractors.Priortoany
discussion,thegroupheadunilaterallyfixesthebudgetallocatedtowageincreasesinthegroupand
uniondelegatesinvarioussubsidiariesnavigateasbestastheycantonegotiatewithinthisframework.
Exceptformajoreconomicindicators,theyhavenoideaofthegroupsflexibilityintermsofits
overallwagebill.Theyarenotbehindthescenes,asnotedbyaCFDTunionrepresentative.
Furthermore,thereisnocoordinationwithotherunionrepresentativesparticipatinginother
mandatoryannualnegotiationsofthevariousentitiesofthegroup.But,inthewordsofanotherCFDT
uniondelegate,thepieiscutforalltheaffiliatesofthebusinessgroup.Itseemsthatthe
interdependencethuscreatedbetweensubsidiariesproducesstrongeffectsofmimicry,whetherin
termsoftradeuniondemandsorthewageincreaseactuallywon.

Casestudieshighlighttheissuesposedindefiningthecontoursandtheactorsinnegotiations.Atthe 56

sametimeweshouldkeepinmindthatonthisquestionitisalsoparticularlyimportanttolookbeyond
theworkplace.Wecanclearlyseetowhatdegreethecurrentquestioningofcompanyboundariesisa
fundamentalproblem(P,T,2006)withwhichcollectivebargainingisbarelyableto
cometogrips(F,2006).

TheIndividualPerformanceInterview:InfraCompanyLevelWage
Regulation?

Asidefromthecompanyboundaryissue,theindividualisationofpayintheformofanindividualised 57

increaseinbasewageorbonusesbasedonindividualperformanceisalsopotentiallydestabilisingfor
collectivebargaining.AccordingtotheREPONSEsurvey,individualisationwashighlydevelopedin
workplacesin2004(seeTable4):individualisedwageincreasesandbonusesbasedonindividual
performancetononmanagementemployeeswerereportedgrantedin76%and55%respectivelyof
workplaces(respectively61%and56%formanagerialpersonnel).Individualisationofpaypractices
ismoreorlessdevelopedaccordingtothewageregulationprofiles,especiallydependingonthe
weightoftheindustrylevel.Thus,thewageregulationbyindustryprofileisassociatedwithaless
frequentusageofindividualisedformsofcompensationattheworkplace.Ontheotherhand,
individualisationisgreaterinestablishmentswithmixedwageregulationornonnegotiatedwage
regulationprofiles,wheretheroleoftheindustryisnotdominant.

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TheseresultssupportthehypothesisadvancedbyDominiqueM(1996)thatindividualisation 59
58

strengthenstheautonomyofcompanylevelcollectivebargaininginrelationtotheindustrylevel.
However,whilecompanylevelcollectivebargainingdirectlyinvolvestherulesgoverning
individualisationincludingthecriteriafor,ortheshareof,individualincreasesintheoverallbudget,
aswiththecarmanufacturertheactualamountoftheincreasereceivedbyanemployeedepends
essentiallyonhisnegotiationswithhissupervisorandindirectlyonmanagementsmarginof
manoeuvreconcerningtheoverallbudgetreservedforbonuses.Whatiscrucialhereistheannual
assessmentinterview,bringingtogethertheemployeeandhissupervisoroutsideofcompanybased
collectivebargaining.Indeed,periodicevaluationinterviewsareverycommoninthoseinstitutions
whichdevelopindividualisation:accordingtotheREPONSEsurvey,about73%and69%
respectivelyofworkplacesreportedhavingconductedsuchinterviewsamongnonmanagementand
managementpersonnel,theseproportionsbeingstillhigherinmixedwageregulationornon
negotiatedwageregulationprofiles.Theyplayadecisiveroleindeterminingwagesforboth
managerialandnonmanagerialpersonnel:foreachofthetwocategoriesofemployees,73%of
managementrepresentativessaythattheylinkchangesinwagestotheholdingofsuchaninterview
andthatlinkisconsideredtobedirectinalmost45%ofcases.

Casestudiesconfirmtheweightofindividualisationofwagesparalleltothedevelopmentofaskills 60

rationaleforETAM [22] attheautomotivemanufactureraswellasthedevelopmentofperformance


bonusesincallservicecentresfortelephoneconsultantsandsupervisors.Thispracticeisnotnew:it
hasbeenappliedtomanagersandprofessionalsforalongtime.Inthisregard,casestudiesemphasize
thedegreetowhichthesituationofmanagersandprofessionalsliesoutsidethescopeofcollective
bargaining.Thesituationofmanagersandprofessionalsattheautomakerissimplynotaddressed
duringthemandatoryannualcollectivebargaining.Asindicatedintheconventioncollective
agreementforengineersandmanagerialandprofessionalemployeesinmetalworkingindustriesof
13March1972,managersandprofessionalsareinvitedtoperiodicallydiscuss(usuallyannually)
withtheirsuperiorconcerningpromotion,careerdevelopment,andincreasesinwages.

Intheory,compulsoryannualnegotiationsconcernallemployees,butinrealityonlyETAMare 61

concernedbywagequestionsdiscussedatcallservicecentreproviders.Employeerepresentatives
havenoinformationaboutthepayofmanagersandprofessionalsotherthanageneralaverage.While
ageneralraisebenefitstheyoungmanagersandprofessionalsremuneratedonthebasisofanindustry
levelminimum,eachmanagerandprofessionalisinvited,asinthecaseofmetalworking,tonegotiate
periodicallyhiscompensationwithhisimmediatesupervisor.Companiesundertheproviders
conventioncollectivearerequiredtoimplementapolicytopromotecareerdevelopmentandeach
managerorprofessionalmaysignanindividualcontractwithhisemployergrantingmorefavourable
termsthanthoseoftheagreement. [23]
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Thetwofieldstudiesclearlyshowthatthechallengeofcollectivebargainingformanagersand 62

professionalsisprimarilyinterpersonalandnotcollective,asisstillthecasefornonmanagers.
However,evenforthelatter,thisislessandlessthecaseduetoreversiblepremiumsandthe
developmentofaskillsrationale.

Inordertoseetheinterrelationshipbetweencollectivebargainingatindustryoratthecompanylevel, 63

thisarticledevelopsastatisticalanalysisfromtheREPONSE20042005survey,combinedwithcase
studiesintheautomotiveindustryandatfourcallservicecentres.Wedrawthreeprofilesofwage
regulationfromthissurvey.

Themixedwageregulationprofilewhichisamajority,todayconcernsnearly42%ofworkplacesand 64

50%ofemployees.Ingivingacrucialroletocompanylevelcollectivebargaining,itstandsoutfrom
whathasbeendemonstratedinpreviousstudies,centredonthebranche.Thecasestudyfromthe
automotiveindustryclearlyshowsthedegreeofautonomyofcompanylevelnegotiations,relegating
thecollectiveindustrylevelagreementtoaneverpresentbutdistantreference.Ouranalysiscoincides
withthethesisofS(1993)whendefiningcompanylevelnegotiationasthecentrepieceofthe
Frenchindustrialrelationssystem,atleastforsomebranchesorindustries.Thepreponderanceof
companylevelbargainingistheresultoftheactorspossibilityforautonomyandaction.

Inalmostathirdofcompanies(andoveraquarterofemployees),thoseassociatedwiththenon 65

negotiatedwageregulationprofile,salaryadjustmentdecisionsbearlittlerelationtocollective
bargaining,irrespectiveoftheirlevels.Thestudyofcallservicecentres,emblematicofthelowpaid,
femaledominatedservicesector,echoedthispositionbyhighlightingtheverylowinfluenceof
negotiationsonwageincreasedecisions.

Thefinalprofile,wageregulationbyindustry,issimilartotheclassicrepresentationoftheFrench 66

systemofindustrialrelationsasasystembasedaboveallonindustrylevelcollectiveagreements.The
specificcharacteristicsofthecompaniesconcernedandtheweaknessofthenegotiationsheldthere
maketheindustrylevelanimportantlocusofwageregulation,asalreadynotedinnumerousstudies
(J,2003).Itistheminoritycharacterofthisprofile(alittleover27%ofworkplacesandnearly
aquarteroftheemployeesconcerned)whichisnoticeabletoday.Canoneinferthatthebrancheas
thelevelofwageregulationisnowinaphaseofdecline?Thestudyofwagebargainingpracticesat
callservicecentresandatacarmanufacturer,althoughtypicalofprofileswheretheindustryhasa
secondaryrole,leadsustogiveanegativeanswertothisquestion.Intermsofcompensation,the
industrylevelcannotsimplybeignored,evenwhenitisnotthedecisiveelement.

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Thecrossanalysisofidentifiedwageregulationprofilesandthethemesactuallynegotiatedconfirms 67

thetimelinessofthedualityattheheartoftheconceptofwagesystemproposedbyS:onthe
onehand,aconventionalorindustrylevelprovidingbenchmarksandnorms,and,ontheotherhand,
acompanylevelastheplacefordiscussionofformsandamountsofcompensation.Thebranchor
industrythereforeretainsamajorroleinwageregulationevenifthelasttwodecadesshowatendency
forittoerodeasaresultofamovementofdecentralisationofcollectivebargainingtowardsthe
companylevel,asisthecaseelsewhereinEurope,andthisinacontextofwagemoderation
(Detal.,2012).Foralmostathirdofworkplaces,thistranslatesintoawageregulationthat
hasbeendescribedasnonnegotiated.Meanwhile,theabilitytodeterminewagesthroughworkplace
levelcollectivebargainingisconfrontedwiththegrowingimportanceofotherlociofwage
negotiations:attheinfracompanylevelthroughtherelationshipbetweenanemployeeandhis
immediatesuperior,andatthesupracompanylevelbetweentheemployer,ontheonehand,andeither
hiscontractorortheparentcompanyofhisbusinessgroup,ontheother.

Annexe

TableA1:DescriptiveStatisticsoftheMainTypologyVariables 68

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69

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Note:Thesumsofthetermsofspecificvariablesarenot100%duetononresponsesinthesurvey.
Interpretation:41.9%ofworkplaceshaveamixedwageregulationprofile.Amongtheseworkplaces,60.3%
employfewerthan50employees,lowerthantheoverallaverage(63%).
Field:Workplacesof20ormoreemployeesinthenonagriculturalbusinesssector.
Source:REPONSE20042005survey,ManagementRepresentativesquestionnaire,DARES.

TableA2:FrequencyofReferencetoanIndustryLevelCollectiveAgreement,ThemesNot 70
DirectlyRelatedtoWages,byWageRegulationProfiles

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Note:Thesumsofthetermsofspecificvariablesarenot100%duetononresponsesinthesurvey.
Interpretation:41.9%ofworkplaceshaveamixedwageregulationprofile.Amongtheseworkplaces,60.3%
reportthattheyrefertoabranchorindustrylevelcollectiveagreementforemploymentandtherulesof
mobilitythisproportionisclosetothesamplemean(61.3%).
Field:Workplacesof20ormoreemployeesinthenonagriculturalbusinesssector.
Source:REPONSE20042005survey,ManagementRepresentativesquestionnaire,DARES.

ArticlepublishedinFrenchinTravailetEmploi,n134,avriljuin2013.
Thisarticleoriginatesfromaresearchreport(Castel,Delahaie,Petit,2011a)conductedunderthe
responsibilityofHlosePetitaspartofaresearchprojectsponsoredbytheCFDTtradeunion
withthefinancialsupportoftheIRES(InstitutderecherchesconomiquesetsocialesInstitute
ofEconomicandSocialResearch).WethanktheparticipantsoftheCEE(Centredtudesde
lemploiCentreforEmploymentStudies)seminar,especiallyJeansaglioandThomasamoss,
andtwoanonymousrefereesfortheircomments.Anyerrorsareourresponsibility.

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Notes

InFrancecompaniescombineintobranchestoorganizemulticompanycollective
[1]
bargaining.Branchemembersaredefinedbytheiraffiliationtoaconstitutiveagreement:theconvention
collective.Furtherindustrylevelcollectiveagreementsareriderstotheconventioncollective.Inprinciple,
anycompanycanaffiliatetoanyconventioncollectivebut,inpractice,conventionscollectives,and
correspondingbranches,havedevelopedinthecontextofindustries.Therefore,inthistextwewillrefer
indiscriminatelytobranchelevelorindustrylevelbargaining.

Thesestatisticshavesomelimitationsonwhichweshallhaveoccasiontoreturn.Nevertheless,they
[2]
illustrateatendencywhichhasalsobeenconfirmedbyothersources,includingtheREPONSEsurvey
(enqutteRelationsprofessionnellesetNgociationsd'entrepriseIndustrialRelationsandCompanyLevel
CollectiveBargaining)(BL,P,2008).

Studiesgenerallyrelatetotheindustrylevel,whichissymbolicofFrenchindustrialrelations.Mostofthem
[3]
basetheiranalysisoftheroleofconventioncollectiveonthestudyofspecificbranches(Eetal.,
1988),whileothersdefinebrancheprofiles(S,1991,2009J,2003).Analysesoftheroleof
companynegotiationsintheindustrialrelationssystemhavemainlybeendonebyeconomistsestimating
theirimpactonrealwages(M,S,1997B,D,2004).Theanalysisofcompanies
industrialrelations,basedontheREPONSEsurvey,isanexception(Aetal.,2008).

TheanalysisofDominiqueMandAliS(1997)isofinterestbecauseitexplicitlyaddressesboth
[4]
points.Theyanalysetheimpactofcompanyagreementsonwages,controllingfortheworkplacesposition
inrelationtothebranche.But,likeotherstudies,itdoesnotanalysedirectlytherelationshipbetweenthe
twolevelsofnegotiations.

See,e.g.,J(2010)onthedistributionofthistypeofagreementinthecaseofcompanylevel
[5]
collectivebargainingonworkingtimeorD(2008)ontheemergenceofthistypeofagreementatthe
interindustrylevel.

OnlycompanyagreementsregisteredwiththeDirectionsdpartementalesdutravail,delemploietdela
[6]
formationprofessionnelle(DepartmentalDirectoratesforLabour,EmploymentandVocationalTraining
DDTEFP)aretakenintoaccount.Forsometime,thelownumberofsuchagreementsthatwereinfact
reportedhaslimitedthestatisticalanalysisofthisdata.Butitseemsthatreportingsuchagreementsismuch
moreprevalenttoday,thusreinforcingtheassumptionofthecompletenessofthedata.Foradiscussionof
thecontributionsandlimitationsofdatabasesonagreements,seeB,D,(2002)andA
Detal.,(2009).

Othersurveyquestionsshedlightontheroleofthebranche.Theycoverreferencetoajobclassificationor
[7]
thedetailsofsubjectsreferencedinthecollectiveagreement.However,thequestionoftheweight
ofbranchelevelrecommendationsconcerningwageincreasesplaysapivotalrole.Itclearlyillustratesthe
companyspositionrelativetoitsapplicableconventioncollective.Thispointwasemphasizedby
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AnnetteJ(2003)inafieldstudycarriedoutinparalleltotheanalysisofthepreviouseditionof
theREPONSEsurvey.Itisunfortunate,however,thatthestudydoesnotdifferentiatebetweenthe
recommendationsthatweretheresultofcollectiveindustrylevelagreementsandthosemadebythe
employersrepresentativesalone.Thispreventsusfromdistinguishingthoseworkplacesreportingthatthey
hadnottakenindustrylevelrecommendationsintoaccounteitherbecausetherewasnosuchagreement,or
becausetheydidnotuseitasareference.

MostworkplacesdeclaredtheirapplicableIdentifiantdeconventioncollective(CollectiveAgreementCode
[8]
IDCC)throughamultiplechoicequestionwhoseoptionsweredeterminedupstreambytheDARESby
branchorindustryandbyworkplace.Nevertheless,severalhundredworkplacesrespondedintextratherthan
withtheidentifyingcode,leadingtotherecodingoftheseresponsesbyThomasAand
HeloisePinanearlierstudy(A,P,2011).Amongtheworkplacesselectedforthesurvey,117
reportednoapplicablecollectiveagreementatindustrylevel.Theywereexcludedfromtheanalysis.

SeeTableA1intheappendixforacompletepresentationofthesevariables.Inthedescriptionofprofiles,
[9]
westrivetohighlightthemainfeaturesthatstandoutastypical,thatis,whentheproportionsobservedfora
givenvariableareverydifferentfromtheaverage.

Thisfeatureshouldbeinterpretedwithcaution.Theworkplacesinquestionareoftenproviderswhose
[10]
servicesarededicatedtocompanies.Inmanycases,theservicesprovidedaredirectlydesignedin
conjunctionwiththeclientandcanbelikenedtoasubcontractingrelationship(asdefinedbytheFrench
StandardsAgency[AgencefranaisedenormalisationAFNOR],seePetal.,2009).
Nevertheless,theconceptofoutsourcingisoftenreservedfortheindustrybytheactorsthemselves,which
mustbetakenintoaccountinreadingourresults.

Theholdingcompanyisacorporation,whichgenerallyhasveryfewemployeesandestablishesacentral
[11]
poleforthemanagementofseveralcompaniesinwhichitholdsamajoritystake.Itisaspecificformofa
businessgroupsparentcompany.

Multipliedbyacoefficient,thepointvaluedeterminestheminimumwageforeachhierarchicalpositionfor
[12]
aweeklyscheduleof35hours.

ThenationalagreementisdatedJuly1975,buttheagreementbetweentheUIMMandthetradeunions
[13]
whichlaidthefoundationsofthenewclassificationgridisdated28June1974(E,1978).

Aspecificagreementissaidtobeextendedwhenitismademandatoryforallemployerswithin
[14]
thebranche.Therefore,employerswhoaremembersoftheorganizationswhichhavesignedthespecific
agreementarenottheonlyonesrequiredtoimplementit.

Thelongperiodoftheextensionprocedurecomparedtothegeneraltendencyofaroundthreemonths
[15]
(MinistreduTravail,delEmploietdelaSant,2012,p.239),isprobablylinkedtotheroleplayedbythe
nationalminimumwageatcallcentreserviceproviders.Thewaitandseepolicyoftherepresentativesof
employersorganizationsvisvistheapplicationofwageagreementsandthecalendaroftheseextensions
arenotjustamatterofcompetitionbetweencompanies.Itisalsoastrategyvisvistheirbargaining
partnerssinceanyincreaseinthenationalminimumwagelimitsthescopeofthewageagreement,extended
ornot,onwhichtheyhaveagreed.Conversely,foremployeerepresentatives,arapidextensionallowsthem
tojustifytheirworkinthebranchorindustrylevelnegotiationsevenoutsideofthosecompaniesinwhich
theirorganizationoperates,beforeapossibleincreaseintheminimumwagewipesouttheresultsobtained
throughtheirnegotiations.

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NotethatthelawdoesnotprovideforincreasedwagesforworkonSunday.However,collectiveor
[16]
companyagreementmayprovideforsuchanincrease.

AsshowninTable2,theweakreferencetothecollectiveagreementonaspecifictheme(asmallproportion
[17]
ofyesresponses)isalwaysassociatedwiththefactthatveryoftentheconventioncollectivedidnoteven
mentionit.Theweakreferencetothecollectiveagreementthereforestressesthatindustrylevelagreements
arerareonthistheme.

Thisconcernsapriorifixedbonusessuchasseniorityorthirteenthmonthbonuses(casesexplicitly
[18]
mentionedinthesurveyquestionnaire).

Whileoverrepresented,collectivebargainingonthetopicofemployeesavingsschemesremainsaminority
[19]
(34%ofconcernedestablishmentswithamixedwageregulationprofile)andafrequencynearlyhalfas
muchasthatofnegotiationsonwagehierarchyorbonuses.Wheretheyexist,industrylevelnegotiationson
employeesavingsschemesofteninvolveintercompanysavingsplans,enablingemployerstosharecosts,
sincetheplansarenegotiatedbyalargenumberofcompanies.

Forthe10yearsstudied,theminimumlimitisacommonbutnotsystematicpractice.
[20]

Thiswasthenationalagreementof19July1978ontheestablishmentofaguaranteedannualremuneration
[21]
toimprovethesituationofmanualworkersand,moregenerally,ofworkerswithlowerwagessignedbythe
UIMMandthesignatoryunionorganizations.

Thistrend,initiatedinthemid1980s,hasbeenwelldescribedbyBandP(1999,chapter3).
[22]

Asareminderthatthemetalworkingindustryisanimportantbenchmarkintermsofconventions
[23]
collectives,itshouldbenotedthattheArticle2.5promotionandcareerdevelopmentoftheridertothe
providersconventioncollectiveismodelledonArticle6ofthatintheengineersandmanagerialand
professionalemployeesinmetalworkingindustries.

Rsum

hecombinedincreaseinfirmorcompanylevelandindustrylevelcollectivebargainingoverrecent
T
decadesinFrancehasrenewedthedebateoverthepotentialcomplementarityorthesubstitution
effectbetweenthetwobargaininglevels.Inthisarticlewestudyhowthetwobargaininglevelsare
associatedattheworkplacelevelinFranceinthewagedeterminationprocess.Ourstudyisbasedon
theREPONSE20042005surveywhichprovidesinformationontherolegiventoindustrylevel
bargainingandthecurrentprocessofnegotiationsintheworkplaceandontwocasestudies:onein
theautomotivesector,theotherincallservicecentres.Threecompanyprofilesaredefined.Inthefirst
twoprofiles,oneofthetwobargaininglevelshasgreateremphasisthantheotherwhilethethird
profileischaracterisedbytheweaknessofnegotiations,whateverthelevel.Whatevertheprofile,our
analysisshowsthatthecontentofnegotiationsisdifferentateachbargaininglevelthecompanylevel
beingmorefocusedonwagedeterminationandthebranchlevelonwageregulation.Besidesthesekey
levelsofcollectivebargaining,westressthegrowinginfluenceinwagedeterminationofindividual
performanceinterviewswithinthecompany,andofthirdpartiessuchastheprimecontractororthe
parentcompany,outsidethefirm.

wage automotivesector callcentre collectivebargainingatindustrylevelandatfirmorcompanylevel

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2/18/2017 TheInterrelationshipofCollectiveBargainingatIndustryandCompanyLevelsinWageDeterminationCairn.info

Larticulationdesngociationsdebrancheetdentreprisedansladterminationdessalaires
Depuisledbutdesannes2000,ladynamiquedesngociationsdebrancheetdentreprise,loinde
mettreenvidenceunesubstitutiondelunelautre,souligneleurcomplmentarit.Dansce
contexte,cetarticleinterrogelafaondontlestablissementsenFrancearticulentngociationsde
brancheetdentreprisedansleursdcisionssalarialespartirdelexploitationdelenquteReponse
20042005etdedeuxtudesdecasmenesdanslesecteurautomobileetdansceluidescentres
dappels.Aprsavoirconstruitunetypologiedestablissementsselonleursmodesdengociations
salariales,nosanalysesvrifientlactualitdeloppositionentrelesrlesdelangociationcomme
lieudergulationsalarialeetcommelieudedterminationdessalairesselonquellesesitueau
niveaudelabrancheoudelentreprise.Enfin,nousdiscutonslexistencedautresniveauxpertinents
defixationdessalaires:lun,portparlamontedelindividualisationdesrmunrationslautre,
dlimitparlinfluencecroissantedacteursconomiquesextrieurslentreprise(ttesdegroupeet
donneursdordre).

salaire centredappels ngociationscollectivesdentrepriseetdebranche secteurautomobile

Plandel'article

ConstructionofaTypologyofFormsofWageRegulation
FirstProfile:MixedWageRegulation
SecondProfile:NonNegotiatedWageRegulation
ThirdProfile:WageRegulationbyIndustry
ActorsStrategiesandWageNegotiationProcessataCarManufacturerandFourCallService
Centres
FundamentalsofMixedWageRegulationintheAutomotiveIndustry
NonNegotiatedWageRegulation:theCaseofCallServiceCentres
IndustryandCompany:NegotiatingwithDifferentContent
WhatisNegotiatedandWhere?
FrequentNegotiationsattheCompanyLevelDoNotEncroachontheNegotiationThemesat
IndustryLevel
AWeakRoleforNegotiationsDoesNotMeanaChangeintheirContent
IndustriesRemainthePrincipalLocusfortheDeterminationofWageHierarchies
OtherRelevantLevelsofWageRegulationtoTakeintoAccount
RoleofContractorsandofGroupParentCompaniesinWageRegulation
TheIndividualPerformanceInterview:InfraCompanyLevelWageRegulation?

Pourcitercetarticle
CastelNicolas,DelahaieNolie,PetitHlose,TraductiondeLondonNathaniel,TheInterrelationshipof
CollectiveBargainingatIndustryandCompanyLevelsinWageDetermination,Travailet
emploi,5/2015(HS2015),p.3163.

URL:http://www.cairn.info/revuetravailetemploi20155page31.htm

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