Essay on The Decline of Unions

2806 Words 12 Pages
Trade unions around the world are falling on hard times in the organized workplace. The phrase ‘union live and die at the workplace’ is becoming a reality sooner than later. The likely obituary of trade unions world-wide are declining membership, density collapse, weaken bargaining power, and the lost of prominence and place in polity. Analyses of trade unionism in the literature for some 20 years now have commonly referring to a crisis of trade unionism. Most authors puts it ‘unions under siege’, ‘stagnant and declining’, and ‘experiencing near death’. Touraine (1986, p. 157) for one has argued that ‘movements such as unionism have a life history: infancy, youth, maturity, old age and death.’ Whereas, Metcalf (2005, p. 28) in his analysis …show more content…
2001; Fairbrother and Griffin 2002; Fairbrother and Yates 2003; Frege and Kelly 2004; Milkman and Voss 2004; Verma and Kochan 2004; Fernie and Metcalf 2005; Kumar and Schenk 2006; Levesque and Murray 2006; Phelan 2007; Gall 2009). Evidences from the literature also witnesses lively debates on issues of what constitute union renewal, the efficacy of different renewal strategies undertaken by trade unions to renew, the prospects and conditions for renewal. Understandably, many questions are still left unanswered. Levesque and Murray (2006, p. 2) highlighted this lacuna by arguing that ‘after two decades of research on union renewal, we might think that there is not much to be said. Yet, quite different narratives still emerge about the diagnostics of change and the paths to union revitalization. Some analysts suggest that we now know what must be done, and the challenge is simply understanding why we are not doing it. Others see epochal social change that calls for the emergence of new forms of collective representation better suited to the changing situation of workers and their workplaces.’ A clear gap in research on union renewal is on the development and mobilization of union resources, generating and maintaining collective identities, and the importance of leadership as a strategic resource for union renewal (Undy et al. 1981; Boxall and Haynes 1997; Kelly 1998; Frege and Kelly 2003; Levesque and Murray 2006). How are union