In this research, union renewal is re-conceptualized as a continuing and purposive process of maintaining, re-establishing, rebuilding and reconfiguring the institutional and organizational sources of union power and strength in a changing environment. It is posited that there are two logics of union renewal - the logic of accommodation and the logic of transformation - which precariously co-exist in any union organization and that the dominance of one logic under certain contexts and conditions does not preclude the existence of the other. The case studies of union renewal initiatives of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) in Canada and the IG Metall in Germany provide some empirical support to several of the hypotheses propounded in the research. Nonetheless, an examination of these case studies also yielded some unexpected results and insights that warrant modifications of some of the hypotheses proposed in this study. Hypothesis 1: In any union organization, two logics of union renewal – accommodation and transformation – precariously co-exist. The dominance of a specific logic does not preclude the existence of the other. The continuing dilemma of unions over survival and success hints at the co-existence of these two contending logics of union renewal. The two logics are visibly in the works in the various dimensions and facets of union renewal pursued by both CAW and IG Metall. Nonetheless, while a particular logic of renewal may acquire salience in one dimension of CAW’s and IG Metall’s renewal initiative, given the multi-dimensionality of union renewal and the extent of influence of the external variables identified in this study, in practice it is difficult to pinpoint which logic dominates overall. Moreover, at various periods in the life of a union, a particular logic may have more salience depending on prevailing circumstances. In short it is difficult to generalize the dominance of a particular logic of union renewal in a union organization. This difficulty is exacerbated by the interplay of another set of logics of exchange identified by Schmitter and Streeck (1999) – the logic of membership and the logic of influence - which influences the interaction of the two logics of union renewal. Hypothesis 2: Structural changes, institutional resiliency and the strategic choices of union leadership influence the choice of union renewal strategies. Because unions have to deal with a multitude of factors such as structural changes, institutional resiliency, and internal constraints to intentional change, there is a limited, temporary and often precarious balance between the two logics of union renewal. As revealed in the case studies, while the logic of transformation may have prominence in one renewal dimension, in another dimension the logic of accommodation may be more pronounced. The two case studies show that the general orientation of a union renewal undertaking is usually a compromised outcome of the interaction between the logic of accommodation and the logic of transformation which are in turn conditioned by the interaction between the logic of membership and the logic of influence. In this regard, it is likely that in a union, different union renewal strategies and actions may espouse different and contending logics of union renewal. Hypothesis 3: While national institutional arrangements are important, trade union actors, particularly union leaders, also influence the processes, direction and strategy of union renewal. The strategic choices of union actors relative to union renewal are mediated by national institutions of industrial relations. The case studies provide support to this hypothesis. Hypothesis 4: Where institutional anchors of union power and strength exist (like in coordinated market economies), union renewal mainly focuses on regaining or reconfiguring these institutional power resources. Where there is very limited or absence of institutional props of union power and influence (like in liberal market economies), union renewal focuses mainly on increasing membership density and mobilizing external resources of influence (e.g. coalition-building with social movements). As highlighted in the IG Metall case study, the union’s renewal strategy focused on the following: ‘converting’ works councils into ‘organizing agents’; defending sectoral collective bargaining by controlling its deregulation to the firm level; and to effectively address this, activating members at the shop-floor by involving them in workplace negotiations and in the recruitment of new members. In effect, IG Metall’s renewal and organizing strategy is a combination of institutional revitalization and membership activism. In the case of CAW, its shift to a general union abetted its shrinking membership in manufacturing. To increase membership, it focuses on intensive organizing at the workplace and in the community. As CAW espouses social unionism, part of its renewal strategy is its continuous engagement with and involvement in social movements, through which it gains strategic leverage to mount campaigns, lobby and fight for labour-friendly legislation at the provincial level, and projects its legitimacy in the Canadian public. In the case of IG Metall, the union’s adoption of member-oriented mobilization to increase membership density in a way refutes this hypothesis. IG Metall’s core renewal strategy does not focus on regaining or reconfiguring its institutional power resources. Instead, it has been focusing and putting substantial resources member-centred organizing strategies. Arguably, its focus on increasing membership density based on an adapted version of the Anglo-American organizing model in a way corresponds to what was initially expected as renewal strategy of unions in liberal market economies. Hypothesis 5: Union size and ‘encompassiveness’ matter in any union renewal undertaking. The larger and more encompassing a union is, the greater the impact of union renewal in terms of the desired outcomes. In this regard, it is possible that unions in coordinated market economies pursuing union renewal that follow some elements of the logic of transformation may have better outcomes than those that solely pursue the logic of accommodation.
|Titolo:||Between Accommodation and Transformation: The Contending Logics of Union Renewal in CAW and IG Metall|
|Data di pubblicazione:||29-ott-2012|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro|
|Citazione:||Between Accommodation and Transformation: The Contending Logics of Union Renewal in CAW and IG Metall ; dissertation supervisor: I. Regalia ; members of the Final Examination Committee: G. Ballarino, E. Reyneri, L. Burroni. - Milano : Università degli studi di Milano. UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO, 2012 Oct 29. ((24. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2011.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|