Trade Unions in Central-Eastern Europe: Crisis as an Opportunity?

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Magdalena Bernaciak
Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick
Richard Hyman


This paper presents different models of capitalism and trade unionism that have emerged in CEE over the last 25 years. It then traces challenges and unions' strategic responses in five policy areas: membership recruitment; mergers and organisational restructuring; collective bargaining; political engagement and social partnership; and international trade union cooperation. The paper argues that trade unions in the new EU member states do have the potential for strategic innovation and, conceivably, organisational renewal. In order to revitalise, however, they need to take on board the concerns of an increasingly diverse workforce and invest more resources in organising.

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How to Cite
Bernaciak, M., Gumbrell-McCormick, R., & Hyman, R. (2014). Trade Unions in Central-Eastern Europe: Crisis as an Opportunity?. Warsaw Forum of Economic Sociology, 5(10), 7-28. Retrieved from


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