Sunday, October 6, 2019

Is There a Union Revitalisation in Europe and North America Essay

Is There a Union Revitalisation in Europe and North America - Essay Example It cannot be assumed that union revitalization will happen hassle-free. There have been signs of worker self- aggrandizement in certain areas, but there have also been instances of total relapse into passivity in certain spheres. But a new phenomenon that is emerging is the structural changes that have been happening on the union front, and if viewed from the backdrop, it can be argued that there is union revitalization in a new form in Europe and UK. The global alliances that are emerging in labor sector, the increased presence of women, and ethnic minorities in the global workforce, and the new forms of workers organizations like the ‘worker centers’ of USA, have been some indicators of change. Taking into account all these new factors and influences, we can argue that there is a non-traditional kind of union revitalisation in Europe and North America. North America and the European Union have been depending more and more on immigrant laborers to meet their workforce n eeds. There are also attempts going on to assimilate these migratory workers into the host country’s mainstream workforce. In the United States, one in five people is from another nationality (Ohlemacker, 2007). In 2006, the BBC reported that 70,000 people were waiting to get citizenship in the UK (BBC News, 2006). The European Union has made it mandatory for its member nations, â€Å"a ‘duty of equality’ in regard to pay† (Healy and Heery, 2004: p.4). This has opened up a whole lot of equal opportunities and has thus increased the social diversity of the workforce (Healy and Heery 2004: p.4). Women and migrant workers from developing countries have been getting better representation in the wok force in Europe, as a result of this. As this phenomenon alters the social landscape of the work force, it has influenced the general state of towards trade unionism as well. For example, â€Å"the creation of low-paid, insecure, temporary and part-time jobs, which are disproportionately filled by women, minority ethnic citizens and young people† has resulted in a weakening of the bargaining power of the workers and also an increase in â€Å"poverty and†¦ unemployment† among such vulnerable groups (Healy and Heery, 2004, pp.17). In such a scenario, the question is whether the conventional trade unions are waking up to face the new challenges and organize the totally changed work force. There are divergent opinions on this issue. Johnson and Jarley (2004) have drawn attention to the re-emergence of â€Å"social movement unionism in the United States with rhetoric centering on demands for ‘work place dignity’ and ‘social justice’† (543-44). Ongoing rejuvenation efforts inside the trade unions are supposed to aim at reforms that will change the attitude of trade unions â€Å"from passive service organizations, bulti largely on an economic exchange logic with members, to active organising-driven unions, built on a logic of social exchange† (Johnson and Jarley 2004: 544; Heery 2001; Turner and Hurd 2001). In the UK, it has been observed that decentralization of public sector enterprises into local level management, has led to new feelings of insecurity among the workers and has become a â€Å"catalyst for union revival† (Calveley and Healy 2003: 98).  

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