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A Fragile Triangle

Collective Bargaining Systems, Trade Unions and the State in the EU

Aug 04, 2020

Good afternoon #AltAusterity readers! This week we bring you a paper from Dr. Steffen Lehndorff (University of Duisburg-Essen) titled, "A Fragile Triangle: Collective Bargaining Systems, Trade Unions and the State in the EU" that he presented at our February workshop earlier this year. Steffen explains that the trade union situation in Europe is complicated, and in fact, unemployment, precarious employment, the increase in social inequalities and the rise of right-wing nationalist parties create challenges for trade unions in most countries.

He suggests that there is a need to underpin the unions’ institutional power by "intensifying efforts to strengthen their organisational and societal power in order to stabilise the triad of trade unions, collective bargaining systems and state specific efforts" to each country--something he refers to as a 'fragile triangle'. This triangle is present in many EU member states and its fragility can be shown by a study and comparison of trade union density with the share of employees working in an establishment covered by a collective agreement.

If you would like to read his paper, you can find it under 'Case Studies' on our Research Page.

To learn more about Steffen's work, you can check out his faculty page, here:

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