European trade unions: change and response - download pdf or read online

By Teresa Lawlor, Mike Rigby, Roger Smith

ISBN-10: 0203983505

ISBN-13: 9780203983508

ISBN-10: 0415170435

ISBN-13: 9780415170437

This ebook considers the EU's impact on exchange unions and the reponses they've got built. It comprises reports from key business sectors, evaluating unions in those sectors in Germany, the united kingdom, Spain, Italy and Denmark.

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G. to reduce unemployment) but also can enable unions to resist the managerial prerogative at enterprise level (although having little direct impact on individual employee empowerment). It is a means whereby unions can attain institutionalized rights to influence key enterprise and workplace 24 APPROACHES TO THE CONTEMPORARY ROLE OF TRADE UNIONS decisions and even union density. Where, on the other hand, union strategy remains locked in the enterprise only, or is limited to an industrial focus, significant gains for labour remain elusive.

Thus there tended to be either a decentralization of collective bargaining structures, or a strengthening or elaboration of workplace-level consultation structures (like works councils), in order to achieve the necessary labour flexibility. Local management, rather than employers’ organizations or the state, became the key actor in the negotiation of change, and the results have tended to produce a generally more cooperative and pragmatic form of trade unionism with a ‘productivist’ (Streeck 1992) orientation.

In this respect it is important to avoid an exclusive focus on the views of the national leadership of the unions. Finally, in the case of strategic responses there should be some evidence of efforts at implementation. It is important to distinguish between responses which are merely put forward as desirable and those in which more effort and resources have been invested. We have consciously not placed too much emphasis on the distinction between reactive and proactive responses. Union action is often largely a response to external pressures (as is the case with most companies).

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European trade unions: change and response by Teresa Lawlor, Mike Rigby, Roger Smith

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