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Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

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2012

Labor market

Selected Works

International and Comparative Labor Relations

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Institutions And Activism: Crisis And Opportunity For A German Labor Movement In Decline, Lowell Turner Oct 2012

Institutions And Activism: Crisis And Opportunity For A German Labor Movement In Decline, Lowell Turner

Lowell Turner

In recent decades, German unions have rested on their institutional laurels even as the ground has slipped away. This article analyzes two recent innovative campaigns based on grassroots mobilization that, the author argues, offer possibilities for renewed union strength. A breakthrough campaign against a militantly anti-union firm in the retail industry demonstrates the potential for a German brand of social movement unionism. The story line and institution-building strategy of this campaign fall entirely outside the framework of traditional German industrial relations. A second, very different campaign, from deep inside that traditional framework, has mobilized union members in Nordrhein-Westfalen (IG Metall ...