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Trade Union Revitalisation

Trends and Prospects in 34 Countries

Edited By Craig Phelan

Although trade unionism has been declining in virtually every part of the world, its continued demise is not a foregone conclusion. As it has throughout its history, trade unionism has demonstrated a capacity to adapt, to make its voice heard, to reassert its power. The scale and scope of experimentation taking place in the labour movement today is testimony not just to the depth of the crisis but also to the possibility of resurgence in the years ahead. This book is an essential resource for anyone wishing to know about contemporary labour issues. It offers a comprehensive introduction to the state of trade unionism in the world today, and the often innovative strategies and tactics trade unionists are using to revive their organisations in each of the major nations of the world. Leading labour scholars discuss, in clear prose, the health of the trade union movement, the present political and economic climate for trade union advancement, the dominant revitalisation strategies, and future prospects in each nation. Each chapter includes an up-to-date guide to further reading.

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Trade Unions in Slovenia 347

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MIROSLAV STANOJEVI Trade Unions in Slovenia 1. Introduction Disintegration of the ‘real socialism’ regimes and, within this context, disintegration of the former Yugoslav federation overlapped with the formation of the Slovenian national state (Mrak et al. 2004). In spite of a relatively dramatic divorce from the federation, which culminated in the ten-day war in 1991, the later Slovenian transitional process to the market economy developed without any major social or political crisis and, running smoothly, was concluded by EU membership and fulfilment of all Maastricht criteria enabling Slovenia to join the EMU in 2007. In the late 1980s Slovenia was, in general developmental as well as market reforms terms, the most advanced part of the former ‘com- munist’ world. During the 20th century, being a part of two successive Yugoslav states, it developed rapidly from a prevalently rural into relatively developed industrial society which in the 1980s reached the developmental level of some less developed member states of the contemporary EU. Slovenia was determined to adopt a soft, gradual mode of transition to the market economy. Within its relatively developed economic and social structures radical reform interventions in the form of ‘shock therapy’ would have been counter-productive and devastating – a lesson that Slovenians had already learned at the end of the 1980s from the disastrous results of the ‘shock therapy’ approach of the last Yugoslav federal government. This experience clearly suggested that radical market reforms in the strongly labour- centred Yugoslav ‘communism’ could induce irreparable damage. Being in a comparatively...

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