Should trade unions simply respond to turbulent changes in industrial relations or can they innovate and set their own agenda? In the face of technological, economic, political and cultural change, trade unions across Europe face a genuine threat to their past achievements and their future capacity to act and shape industrial relations. In this text a group of authors examines the unions' strategic policies in seven European member states and at the European Union level, as well as their responses to the globalization of economic competition. Using theoretical and historical analysis as well as up-to-date empirical research, they examine the successes of trade unions and their capacity to innovate in order to remain strategic actors in the industrial relations arena. In particular, the authors examine trade union policies responding to topical issues such as training, sustainable growth, flexibility, decentralization, deregulation and neo-liberal state policies. The work explores responses to the main economic, managerial, political and socio-cultural features of the transformation process facing trade unions in Europe and their opportunities to innovate or adapt.
It should be useful to researchers and students interested in industrial relations, personnel management, and the social and economic implications of European integration.