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Working in the Context of AusterityChallenges and Struggles$
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Donna Baines and Ian Cunningham

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529208672

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529208672.001.0001

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Austerity, Resistance and the Labour Movement

Austerity, Resistance and the Labour Movement

Chapter:
(p.301) 15 Austerity, Resistance and the Labour Movement
Source:
Working in the Context of Austerity
Author(s):

Helen Blakely

Steve Davies

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529208672.003.0015

This chapter begins with a brief outline of the challenges faced by unions in the context of austerity. It then draws on interviews undertaken as part of a research study carried out with UNI Global Union (the Global Union Federation for unions representing workers in private sector service industries) to explore new forms of unionism in the context of advanced austerity and neoliberalism. The chapter analyses three case studies (in each of Romania, the Dominican Republic and the United States) in sectors that have been hostile to unionization and that unions have traditionally found hard to organize. These unions successfully undertook activities including new forms of social movement and community-based unionism that have no immediate or obvious 'pay off', and activity that secured collective bargaining agreements and transformative increases in membership. These activities represent a broadening of union purpose and effective strategies in the face of the growing precarity, fragmented workforces, and globalization of work in the context of austerity.

Keywords:   unions, austerity, UNI Global Union, unionism, neoliberalism, unionization, social movement, community-based unionism, collective bargaining agreements

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