Trade Unions and Multinational Corporations: European Context

Valery Gribanov


This article explores dramatic changes in trade union movement across Europe due to the expansion of multinational corporations (MNC). Intensified internationalization – more free and bigger in scope international trade, transnational investment and financial globalization –increased the vulnerability of unions, ended the relative isolation of national political economies. Transnationalization lowers the exit costs of capital and reduces corporate loyalty to the nation state. Unions as mature social movement organizations are engaged in continuing strategic interactions with their constituents and principal interlocutors in the economy and the state. The shift of the decision-making process from the level of nation states to the MNC headquarters inevitably reduces bargaining power of national trade unions and stresses the vital importance of working out their new strategy. As markets, expanded unions have to enlarge their strategic domain to keep workers from being played off against each other, undermining wage and labor standards. On the basis of cross-national approach article examines responses of union movements to the challenges of globalization.


globalization; multinational corporations; trade unions

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603