This study examines the complex roles and evolving strategies of trade unions during 15 years of economic and social transition. It explores what strategies and policies unions in this region need in order to curb negative trends and strengthen their capacities and functions within the new industrial relations systems.
Offering a conceptual and analytical framework as a basis for study, this volume highlights some of the major factors determining or influencing trade unions’ strategic choices over the 15 years, when they functioned not only as labour movements, but also as agents of socio-economic and political change. Case studies from Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Slovenia reveal some of the differences and commonalities in trade union choices, processes and outcomes of action. The book also includes an analysis from a European dimension and looks at major issues stemming from the European Union integration process for labour movement in Central and Eastern Europe.
The transition in Central and Eastern Europe has taken place at great human cost. The sacrifices made, largely by workers, should lead to societies in which both democracy and justice emerge as stronger and more vital. It is in this spirit that this study aims to stimulate debate and contribute to future trade union efforts as they build their capacities, representation and influence in the region.