Unions’ response to corporate restructuring in Telefónica: locked into collective bargaining?

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the restructuring approach followed by the highly profitable Telefónica in its 2011 redundancy plan, and explores unions’ response to management strategy. Design/methodology/approach – The research follows a case study approach constructing a dataset with information from company reports, committee records, union documents, press releases, and other available sources such as specialized journals and newspapers. Findings – Specifically this case study tries to show how massive job cuts have been implemented through a labour-mediated downsizing strategy that mitigates contestation and industrial conflict. Originality/value – The paper tackles the relevant question of how unions respond to corporate restructuring (involving downsizing) in countries where industrial relations institutions remain relatively strongly embedded and proactive.
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