Analysing Social Partnership: A Tool of Union Revitalization?
This chapter focuses on social partnership as a tool of union revitalization. Can such partnerships with employers help revitalize unions? This chapter develops a framework for considering the costs and benefits of social partnership for unions, an important project, given the strategy’s relevance for so many European and American unions. Using evidence from five countries, this chapter finds that social partnership contributes to revitalization when it is institutionalized, fully integrated with other union strategies, and, most importantly, when it is pursued in the interest of a broader social agenda. But the affirmative answer is a heavily qualified one, as the national cases have shown that there are often tensions among these factors and that there are many limitations on partnerships as a union strategy.
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