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All talk but no voice: employee voice at the Eurotunnel call centre

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There is little existing research on non-union voice structures of consultation and representation in call centres, or on the impact and influence of such structures on either organizational change or employee influence over managerial decisions. This article attempts to address these issues by examining non-union consultation and representative arrangements at the call centre operations at Eurotunnel, and assessing their effectiveness in representing the needs of employees. Overall, the evidence suggests that the non-union voice structures at the Eurotunnel call centre are used as devices for information and communication rather than true consultation mechanisms or bargaining agents; their effectiveness as bodies representing the interests of call centre employees in filling the lack of representation is questionable. The implications for organizations of not recognizing such limitations of non-union arrangements could result in increased union influence on workplace issues and greater employee dissatisfaction with management. The study concludes that communication between management and employees at the workplace may not be enough: voice and the right to be heard may be essential for achieving higher performance and employee commitment.

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