Roland Erne's view of transnational trade union networks
challenges the assertion that no realistic prospect exists for
remedying the European Union's democratic deficit-that is, its
domination by corporate interests and lack of a cohesive European
people. His book describes the emergence of a European trade union
movement that crosses national boundaries. Erne assesses national
and EU-level trade union politics in two core areas: wage
bargaining in the European Monetary Union and job protection during
transnational corporate mergers and restructuring. The wage
coordination policies of the European metal and construction
workers' unions and the unions' responses in the ABB-Alstom Power
and Alcan-Pechiney-Algroup merger cases, Erne finds, show that the
activities of labor are not confined to the national level: labor's
policies have undergone Europeanization. This cross-national
borrowing of tactics is itself proof of the increasing integration
of European states and societies.
European Unions is based on an exceptionally wide range
of research methods, including statistical analysis, participant
observation, and interviews with EU-level, national, and local
trade unionists and works councilors. It also draws on a wide range
of European, German, French, Italian, and Swiss union documents and
a multilingual body of academic literature across several
disciplines, including political science, sociology, and law.
Erne's multilevel inquiry goes beyond country-by-country
comparisons of national cases and his book will prove of great
relevance to readers interested in the future of labor, social
justice, and democracy in an increasingly integrated world.
Subjects: Political Science
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