In recent years, companies manufacturing household appliances in Western European countries have undergone major restructuring processes that in many cases include the relocation of production sites to low cost countries. The article looks at the nature of production relocation and its significance for industrial relations in the European household appliances industry. The author argues that the success of any approach to change processes that is capable of taking into account both the need for improved competitiveness and the social aspects of corporate restructuring depends to a large extent on an effective system of social regulation. Thus, the article examines the ways in and extent to which it is possible through industrial relations practices to influence relocation decisions and their implementation. Finally, the author looks at the influence of Europeanlevel actors such as the European Metalworkers’ Federation and European Works Councils on transnational restructuring processes.
Keywords: Relocation, pacts for employment and competitiveness, concession bargaining, information and consultation, European Works Councils, European trade union coordination