Keywords: Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining; Organization of Production; Political Economy.
The literature has argued that, contrary to what claimed by the rational economic theory, trade unions have progressively moved towards the representation of atypical workers by adopting more inclusive strategies of collective bargaining. The strength and modalities of such strategies are affected by national institutions of labour market and company-level union representation to which trade unions can draw in workplaces. Within this context, still remain to be discovered how the aforementioned institutions are enacted and in what subjects of employment relations can be used by unions in order to protect atypical work. This paper deals with these issues. It analyzes how unions have used distinctive institutional factors with regards of both external and internal flexibility and in reference to regular and temporary workers to be able to improve the working conditions of atypical work. Trade unions negotiated a promotion system to permanent positions and allowed temporary workers to develop the same skills acquired by regular employees, which were also beneficial for permanent workers' employment conditions. The defense of regular workers' employment conditions was crucial in order to maintain an inclusive strategy of collective bargaining.