Unions as Political Actors: A Recipe for Revitalization?
This chapter begins by arguing that there are many different forms of political action by trade unions and union movements, including party links, lobbying, and mobilization. Moreover, the forms of action vary significantly across countries: lobbying and voter mobilization are far more common in the US for example. One key factor which helps explain international variation is the structure of political systems and the forms of party-union links. This chapter also draws attention to the ways in which union leaders opt for some forms of action rather than others, e.g., membership mobilization is more common in Italy and Spain, less so in the UK and the US. Finally, this chapter offers some evidence on the impact of political action on union revitalization, bringing out the extent to which combinations of political and non-political action make a difference to union outcomes.
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