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CEP discussion paper
Influences on Trade Union Organising Effectiveness in Great Britain
A Charlwood
August 2001
Paper No' CEPDP0504:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J51

Tags: trade union objectives and structures; organising effectiveness

This paper brings together data from the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey, National Survey of Unions and TUC focus on recognition survey to investigate influences on union organising effectiveness. Organising effectiveness is defined as the ability of trade unions to recruit and retain members. Results suggest that there are big differences in organising effectiveness between unions, and that national union recruitment policies are an important influence on a union's ability to get new recognition agreements. However local factors are a more important influence on organising effectiveness in workplaces where unions have a membership presence. There are also important differences in organising effectiveness among blue and white-collar employees. These differences suggest that unions will face a strategic dilemma about the best way to appeal to the growing number of white-collar employees.