This chapter presents European trade union response to the economic crisis that engulfed the advanced industrial countries in the mid-1970s. This crisis, the most serious since the interwar Great Depression, confronted unions, along with most other economic actors, with new risks and, perhaps, new opportunities. British unions broke with balanced budget orthodoxy and called for expansionist, proto-Keynesian policies. The 'conventional wisdom' about unions and workers, especially in North America one have labelled it 'liberal optimism' in a more extensive, One believed, profoundly economistic and historicist in its basic orientations. It separates national case studies of trade union responses to crisis in the Communist presence/union pluralist setting of France and Italy. It attempts to develop an analytical approach to comparative union studies and applies this approach to the specific French and Italian materials exposed in the preceding country.