Fragmented Staff – Temporary Agency Work and Its Meaning for Staff Relations in Austria

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 24 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Saskja SCHINDLER, University of Vienna, Austria
Temporary agency work is one of the most rapidly growing forms of atypical employment in Austria (Stichtagserhebung 2013, Specht 2010). In the area of atypical employment temporary agency work is an interesting case because it is the only male-dominated one  (Geisberger/Knittler 2010) and it is frequently used in the industrial sector (Stichtagserhebung 2013). At the same time it is considered to have a high precarious potential (Specht 2010). Precisely the industrial sector has traditionally been characterised by powerful trade unions, stable labour relations and hardly any precarious employment. Thus the increasing use of temporary agency work causes important changes within this sector.

My paper describes the development of temporary agency work and the working conditions of temporary agency workers in Austria and it is concerned with the question what the use of a low secured group of workers (who perform the same tasks but under worse conditions) means for the staff relations in user companies: How does the examined situation affect the permanent workers and their working conditions? What does it mean for the temporary agency workers? And how does it transform the staff as a whole? Methodologically the paper is based on qualitative interviews with workers representatives (N=7), works councilors (N=9), industry representatives (N=5) as well as company staff from two user companies (metal industry in lower Austria; temporary workers and permanent staff; N=18).

Geisberger, Tamara / Knittler, Käthe (2010): Niedriglöhne und atypische Beschäftgung in Österreich. In: Statistische Nachrichten 6/2010. S. 448-461.
Specht, Matthias (2010): Zeitarbeit - eine ganz normale Arbeit? Linz.