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European trade union action

Paper i proceeding
Författare Bengt Larsson
Publicerad i Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) 2012
Publiceringsår 2012
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Centrum för Europaforskning (CERGU)
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Sociologi


An issue discussed in research on European trade unionism is whether the tendency towards “union diplomacy” is so strong that there is little interest among unions in more democratically oriented action on the European level. There are, however, activities pointing in the direction of an Europeanization of political mobilization, in trade union action and cooperation with NGOs. This paper analyzes attitudes towards transnational action among trade unions in Europe, as well as to what degree national unions actually partakes in such action. I will particularly focus on the production of joint statements and petitions, demonstrations and boycotts, and strikes. It is based on a survey to trade unions in Europe carried out in 2010-11 (n 250). The aim is to show what similarities and differences there are between countries and sectors in Europe. The analyses show that there are significant differences of both kinds. Trade unions in the “social partnership” regime (CWE) and the “polarized/state centred” regime (South) tend to partake in European demonstrations and boycotts to a higher degree than unions in the other regimes – the Nordic unions in the “organized corporatist” regime tend to partake least. In addition peak level unions and unions in the manufacturing sector tend to partake in European demonstrations and boycotts to a higher degree than unions in services and unions organizing professionals.

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