Liberalization of Labor Relations in Germany and the United States: A firm-centered comparison of cross-national labor organizing at Amazon and Volkswagen
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This paper examines the ongoing (as of 2015) cases of labor organizing at Amazon fulfillment centers throughout Germany and at Volkswagen's manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Drawing on the literature of comparative capitalism, the paper focuses on the labor relations choices of firms in cross-national contexts. First, the paper argues that the two cases demonstrate the essential differences in German and American models of labor relations. Second, the paper argues that the cases demonstrate the processes of liberalization in labor relations that are occurring in both the US and German economies. Finally, the paper examines the implications of these cases for workforces in the US and Germany, as well as for the study of comparative labor relations.