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The Representation GapChange and Reform in the British and American Workplace$
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Brian Towers

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289463.001.0001

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Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Decline

Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Decline

Chapter:
(p.62) 3 Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Decline
Source:
The Representation Gap
Author(s):

Brian Towers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289463.003.0033

Although the disorder and the decline of organized labour as well as the decline of collective bargaining are not exclusive to Britain and the USA, these are not to be perceived as universal features of labour movements. Since the 1980s, most trade unions have struggled in countries that appear less favourable to their survival, while some of these unions have attempted to avoid significant losses. Among the countries covered by the OECD, and in spite of their high collective bargaining coverage levels, only Spain and France have exhibited relatively lower percentages of trade union membership. Similar to in France and the United States, in which union density has fallen, the total membership is also on the decrease in Britain. The emergence of the non-union sector in the US was seen as a ‘transformation’ and even as a rise of ‘new’industrial relations.

Keywords:   organized labour, collective bargaining, new industrial relations, union density, trade union, total membership

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