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Organizing Matters

Two Logics of Trade Union Representation Guy Mundlak, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Organizing Matters demonstrates the interplay between two distinct logics of labour’s collective action: on the one hand, workers coming together, usually at their place of work, entrusting the union to represent their interests and, on the other hand, social bargaining in which the trade union constructs labour’s interests from the top down. The book investigates the tensions and potential complementarities between the two logics through the combination of a strong theoretical framework and an extensive qualitative case study of trade union organizing and recruitment in four countries – Austria, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands. These countries still utilize social-wide bargaining but find it necessary to draw and develop strategies transposed from Anglo-American countries in response to continuously declining membership.
Extent: c 288 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: May 2020
ISBN: 978 1 83910 402 2
Availability: Not yet published
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Labour Economics
  • Law - Academic
  • Labour, Employment Law
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Sociology of Work
Organizing Matters demonstrates the interplay between two distinct logics of labour’s collective action: on the one hand, workers coming together, usually at their place of work, entrusting the union to represent their interests and, on the other hand, social bargaining in which the trade union constructs labour’s interests from the top down. The book investigates the tensions and potential complementarities between the two logics through the combination of a strong theoretical framework and an extensive qualitative case study of trade union organizing and recruitment in four countries – Austria, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands. These countries still utilize social-wide bargaining but find it necessary to draw and develop strategies transposed from Anglo-American countries in response to continuously declining membership.

Trade unionists and scholars will find this a compelling story of organizing, narrated in the voice of organizers, trade union officials and local observers. This is a source for reflection on the daily hardship and strategic goals of organizing. Theorists will be able to utilize the two logics for explaining ongoing challenges for trade unions’ revitalization worldwide.
Contents: Introduction 1. The Two Logics of Labour's Association 2. Hybrid industrial relations systems – between Ghent and sliced up bargaining units 3. Four hybrid systems – converging challenges, divergent institutions 4. Declining membership and a rising legitimacy gap 5. Membership-based strategies - organizing and recruitment 6. Between two logics - strains of organizing when membership counts 7. Between two logics - bridging practices as a path toward revitalization AftermathThe two logics and membership counts Bibliography Index