Between keeping your head down and trying to get noticed: agency workers in French car assembly plants
journal contributionposted on 08.02.2012, 15:17 by Christina Purcell, Paul A. Brook, 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.