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IRE1640: Contemporary Trade Unionism

This subject guide is meant to assist students, particularly those enrolled in IRE1640, with research papers and assignments.

Welcome to Contemporary Trade Unionism

Recently, trade unions have faced many challenges including: economic recession; a crisis in manufacturing employment with closures, outsourcing and mass layoffs; cuts to public sector employment and moves to privatize it; as well as attacks on the right to strike. These same decades have witnessed the rise of neoliberal policies and a decline in the nation-state’s willingness to intervene in the economy, regulate transnational corporations, enforce employment standards and reform labour legislation. Such developments have challenged trade unions making it more difficult for them to organize new members, help maintain good jobs and expand union coverage. This course will examine such challenges plus issues such as the role of women in unions, diversity, pensions, coalition activity and more.