A new international division of labor and changes in employment relationships

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Transformations of the global geopolitics of the automotive sector, relating specifically to the restructuring and structuring processes affecting the older and new production spaces that are relevant to such changes, have led to an in-depth modification of employment relationships within this field and even beyond. In this context, the competition that exists between transnational companies in terms of production sites and regulation spaces constitutes a powerful lever for reorganising employment relationships as management sees fit. It remains that the establishment of international framework agreements, codes of conduct and global and/or European work councils also opens up new transnational spaces where social partners can negotiate and harmonise regulations.

Given the renewed heterogeneity of national and transnational regulation spaces and the corporate wage labour nexus systems generated by such transformations, these developments deserve to be studied on different levels. From a comparative perspective as such, we welcome any studies covering such topics.

Special attention will be paid to studies elucidating on-going changes in the BRICs countries. The rapid rise of these markets and the greater range of competencies required by local industries here seem to imply increasing tension on their labour markets and more pressure on companies to recruit, train and retain their workforce. Questions remain, however, as to the realities in this situation and how such developments might play out at an employment relationship level.

With regards to restructuring processes in countries characterised by high labour costs, we would be particularly interested in studies highlighting linkages between the development of zero carbon automobiles and the impact on the structure of branch competencies, employment and international division of labour.

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