Unions are in decline or stagnation in most parts of the world. Although they have been synonymous with industrialization for more than a hundred years, some observers feel that unions are outmoded institutions whose role has been pre-empted in the 21st century by labour laws, better human resource management and an increasingly educated and mobile workforce. The essays in this book acknowledge these trends but suggest that it may be pre-mature to conclude that the need for collective voice in the workplace and in society has waned completely. On the contrary, empirical evidence points to a persistent need for fairness and voice in the workplace. Unions can build on this foundation by taking advantage of information technology, new national and global networks, and by reaching out to segments of the workforce that have not been targeted by the labour movement in the past.

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