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Trade Unions Today and Tomorrow

Vol. I: Trade Unions in a Changing Europe


George Spyropoulos

Western European countries, like all industrialised market economies, have been confronted since the early 1970s with a profoundly changing economic and social environment. The current crisis is not only apparent in terms of faltering economic growth and low employment perspectives: it is also a social, institutional and political crisis. The quantity and quality of work are changing. New patterns of organising work and production processes and new social relationships emerge at the workplace. Rapid technological change is coming to effect the working lives of virtually all wage and salary earners. Economic stagnation and technological change have been accompanied by rapid changes in the composition of the labour force. As a result of these various factors, established patterns of working life are changing in Europe.
European trade unions are at the centre of this change. What is their role in a society in crisis? Are they going to lose their power as industrialised societies enter a new wave of economic, technological and social innovations, or are they going to assume new roles?
This book and its accompanying volume will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of the functioning of European societies and of the role trade unions play in all aspects of their social, economic and political life.
Contents: Georges Spyropoulos: Foreword - Mathias Hinterscheid: The role of trade unions in the coming decade: The point of view of the European Confederation of Trade Unions - Bertil Bolin: Trade unions and the crisis - Georges Spyropoulos: The role of trade unions in a changing world - Jens Lind: Crisis and conflicts between state and trade union movement: the Danish experience - Denis Segrestin: Trade unions versus power: the French socialist experience after 1981 - A. Wagner: Trade unions between «exit» and «voice»: a new portrait of Swiss unionism - J.C. van Ham/J.Paauwe/A.R.T. Williams: Adapting to change: the case of the trade unions in the Netherlands - Ross Fakiolas: The Greek trade unions: past experience, present problems and future outlook - Manuel Ludevid: The labour movement and social change in Spain (1975-1985) - Michael P. Jackson: The British miners' strikes of 1974 and 1984: a comparison of the role and strategy of the Miners' Union - Georges Spyropoulos: Internationalisation of economy: a new challenge to trade unions - Michael Rose: Economic nationalism versus class solidarity: the perspectives of active trade union members - Peter Enderwick: Trends in the internationalisation of production and the trade union response - Kurt P. Tudyka: Crisis situation for multinational corporation trade union councils - Rolf Jürgen Grote: Tripartism and European integration.