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Between keeping your head down and trying to get noticed: agency workers in French car assembly plants

By Christina Purcell, Paul A. Brook and Rosemary Lucas


Numerical flexibility is commonly promoted as a driver of employment growth. However, contingent work is frequently associated with “bad jobs”, particularly for those in low skilled occupations. Agency work is a common and growing form of contingent work and is often promoted as a tool for facilitating the labour market integration of young workers. In France, young agency workers make up a significant part of the labour force within car assembly plants. Studies have shown that these workers have harsher working conditions than permanent co-workers and are subject to a “despotic” factory regime. However, the triangular relationship, which frames the agency contract, may give rise to a more complex outcome in which the aspiration for stable employment mediates the coercion of labour market vulnerability.Peer-reviewedPublisher Versio

Topics: agency work, factory regimes, auto sector, agency autoworkers, hegemonic despotism, unions, labour process, Burawoy
Publisher: Rainer Hampp Verlag
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1688/1861-9908_mrev_2011_02_Purcell
OAI identifier:

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