Synopses & Reviews
Paul Kubicek offers a comparative study of organized labor's fate in four postcommunist countries, and examines the political and economic consequences of labor's weakness. He notes that with few exceptions, trade unions have lost members and suffered from low public confidence. Unions have failed to act while changing economic policies have resulted in declining living standards and unemployment for their membership.
While some of labor's problems can be traced to legacies of the communist period, Kubicek draws upon the experience of unions in the West to argue that privatization and nascent globalization are creating new economic structures and a political playing field hostile to organized labor. He concludes that labor is likely to remain a marginalized economic and political force for the foreseeable.
“A much needed study of the fate of organized labor in countries that once regarded themselves as defenders of the international working class. The analysis is clearly presented and compelling, and the stories are interesting and well-researched.”
--Industrial and Labor Relations Review
“Well researched . . . well organized, and written in a manner which the reader does not find difficult to understand. I would highly recommend this work to scholars with an interest in Eastern Europe, especially to those with an interest in contemporary problems of post-Communist countries.”
--The Polish Review
Examination of why the power and role of workersU unions have greatly diminished in the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries since the fall of Communism. Generally surprising turn of events, since organized labor played a large role in regime change.