Employee relations in Algeria: a historical appraisal

Mohamed Branine*, Ahmed Foudil Fekkar, Otmane Fekkar, Kamel Mellahi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The paper seeks to examine the evolution of, and assesses current trajectories of change in, the Algerian employee relations system.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews a range of literature on employee relations in Algeria and draws on the authors' research over the years in the field, including recent interviews with unions' representatives.
Findings – The paper provides evidence to suggest that the Algerian system of employee relations is a product of interactions and intersections between historical circumstances and different institutional arrangements and configurations to enable the state to hold together its power and control over unions. The paper shows how the preferential treatment of the UGTA by the government created an uneven playing field favouring the UGTA over independent unions.
Research limitations/implications – A major limitation of the paper is lack of strong empirical evidence.
Practical implications – The paper suggests that the single most important factor determining unions' ability to manoeuvre is the continuing support they obtain from the government and its institutions. The analysis provides practical suggestions for independent unions.
Originality/value – To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper on recent developments in employee relations in Algeria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-421
Number of pages18
JournalEmployee Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Algeria
  • Employee relations
  • Trade unions
  • Organizational change
  • Management power


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