In more feminized companies, conflicts over salaries are less effective

While mandatory annual negotiations (NAO) on remuneration are being maintained in companies for 2024, the reduction in inflation should reduce the increase envelopes provided for in the agreements that manage to be concluded. However, salary levels remain one of the primary reasons for conflict at work, whether collective mobilizations (walkouts, prolonged strikes) or individual disputes.

What are the results of this conflict? This is what a woman wanted to examine study by sociologist Maxime Lescurieux, published in February by the management of research, studies and statistics (Dares) of the Ministry of Labor. Without concluding a causal link which would prefer these photos of tension to be the only factor explaining salary increases, the author rather notes a “significant correlation” positive between the presence of conflicts, the opening of negotiations and increases: between 2014 and 2019, average gross hourly remuneration increases faster in the most conflictual companies than in the least conflictual ones.

The document provides additional analysis variables, such as the sector of activity, the size of the company, the socio-professional category and, more original, the predominance of men or women in the company.

Habit to mobilize and negotiate

Contrary to popular belief, there is no marked difference between the two genders in the propensity to enter into lasting conflict. On the other hand, the impact of conflicts relating to remuneration is less and less visible in companies where women are the majority. This link between conflict and remuneration, pointed out in a positive manner in establishments where men are in the majority, even proves to be penalizing in the event of collective conflicts that are more formal and pervasive among more feminized workforces.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers A “significant” correlation between conflict at work and remuneration

First key to explanation, according to Maxime Lescurieux, the author of the study: in companies with more men, for example in industry or transport, “more collective negotiations are carried out on the subject of wages”, or 87%, compared to only 80% in companies where women are the majority. In male-dominated companies, these negotiations more often affect the share of individual increases, which also affects the distribution of salaries between the two genders.

This difference is also explained by the habit of mobilizing and negotiating: the history and more fragile architecture of union establishment in sectors with more female employees such as commerce, services and, to a lesser extent, social action, for example, are factors to take into account. “In male-dominated establishments, there may be a tradition of struggle and an older balance of power which facilitates the creation of a dynamic of mobilization, which requires means, support and communication to maintain”underlines Eve Meuret-Campfort, sociologist at the CNRS.

You have 46.21% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.