issues – and they were grateful for this much. For bread we can read jobs, and for butter wages: jobs are a fundamental priority for workers in a country where unemployment exceeds 20 per cent and in a sector where essential modernisation is not yet complete; wages are higher in these enterprises than the average for a sector whose comparative advantage is cheap labour costs, and usually only become a meaningful demand after the entry of foreign capital (which is presented by political and economic elites and in the media as a condition for current stability and future prosperity). The German and French owners of these two firms are amenable to trade unions, progressive in the application of new human resource management approaches and at the same time have preserved existing standards of enterprise welfare services. Although they have provided job opportunities for blue-collar workers they have not as a rule offered more autonomous and multi-skilled work, nor prospects for career development, personal and professional growth. Participation in management and union involvement in co-decision-making likewise remain issues of secondary concern among these workers. Despite this foreign employers have managed to engender in their workforces a commitment to the firm and a feeling of job satisfaction, simply by providing the chance to earn one's daily bread through work.
Our research findings therefore point to a certain discrepancy between Slovak and 'western' forms of dual identity, which is unlikely to be eliminated as long as the contemporary phase of economic globalisation reproduces patterns of core–periphery relations which impose severe constraints on the potential of local actors in countries like Slovakia.
If it were up to you would you like to:
Work in a private company 12.3%
Work in a state-owned company 56.3%
Work in your own company 19.7%
Work abroad 10.5%
Not work at all 1.2%
Source: Transformation and Modernisation. Codebook 1995.