Do the young still need trade unions and do unions want them?

Authored by: Glynne Williams , Martin Quinn

Routledge Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804357
eBook ISBN: 9781315753058
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619895


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The continued strength and influence of trade unions depends upon their ability to attract young workers into membership and activism. If unions are to halt a spiral of decline – where falling membership erodes union credibility and, in turn, weakens the case for joining – then this means organising today’s school leavers in greater numbers than their older workmates. With very few exceptions, this is the challenge in industrialised countries worldwide and, in response to this crisis, unions have gone through an period of sustained introspection and innovation (Hodder and Kretsos, 2015).

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