chapter  16
20 Pages

Engagement or disengangement? Unions and a new politics

ByGeoffrey Wood

A central strategic issue facing organized labour is that of engagement. Many years of membership decline in the advanced societies has cast a question mark as to the future of trade unions. To their proponents, possibilities of firm-level partnerships with employers provide unions with both a welcome space to regroup, and a clearly delineated future role in a rapidly changing world. Yet, many such partnerships have failed to deliver meaningful concessions to employees. This chapter explores the possibilities for alternative forms of engagement and the extent to which this could contribute to a regeneration of the European social model.