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Dilemmas for contemporary trade unionism: lessons from the European steel industry

Stroud, Dean Allen 2009. Dilemmas for contemporary trade unionism: lessons from the European steel industry. [Working Paper]. School of Social Sciences Working Papers Series, vol. 130. Cardiff: Cardiff University. Available at:

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Trade unions seek to tackle developments in the economic and social context of employment, as well as addressing changing membership priorities. Recent debate about union organisation and operation, particularly at a local level, has centred on an examination of the ways in which unions have been challenged by developments in the composition of managerial hierarchies and approaches, work and employment conditions, and legislative requirements; features and outcomes of the constant restructuring and transformation of capitalism. One somewhat understated dimension is the way unions in different national contexts may begin to address the implications of cross-border corporate restructuring. To focus such an enquiry, the paper examines dimensions of the European steel industry. The argument is that in the context of on-going sectoral restructuring, unions face the challenge of addressing the tension between nationally-focused policy and the forms of corporate development. The contention is that in this sector trade unions have maintained an approach to interest representation that centres on the state and/or supra state, rather than the emerging corporate form in the sector. I go on to suggest that one initial issue for these trade unions is the articulation of alternative perspectives. The paper employs data from a programme of research conducted across the European steel industry that started in 2000, and is on-going. Thus, the paper focuses on union responses to the challenges presented by the internationalisation of the European steel industry.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: Cardiff University
ISBN: 978 - 1- 904815-93-8
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:44

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