Overcoming Post-Communist Labour Weakness: Attritional and Enabling Effects of Multinationals in Central and Eastern Europe

TitleOvercoming Post-Communist Labour Weakness: Attritional and Enabling Effects of Multinationals in Central and Eastern Europe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLee, Aleksandra Sznajder, and Trappmann, Vera
JournalEuropean Journal of Industrial Relations
Volume20
Issue2
Pagination113 - 129
Keywordslabor revitalization, multinational corporations, Poland, post-communism, privatization, Romania, Slovakia, trade unions
Abstract

We use micro-level analysis of developments in the steel sector in Poland, Romania and Slovakia to examine the effects of multinational corporations on trade unions in Central and Eastern Europe. We argue that unions’ weakness can be attributed to their strategies during the restructuring and privatization processes of post-communist transition. Tactics used for union regeneration in the West are less appropriate in the East, but revival may be possible because the power of transnational capital forces unions to focus their efforts on articulating workers’ interests. We examine the emerging system of industrial relations in the sector and explore the development of capabilities needed to overcome post-communist legacies.