Mitgliedschaft in Gewerkschaften: Inklusions- und Exklusionstendenzen in der Organisation von Arbeitnehmerinteressen in Europa

English title: Union Membership: Inclusion and Exclusion in the Organization of Labour Interests in Europe

Author(s): Bernhard Ebbinghaus - Claudia Göbel - Sebastian Koos -

Language: German

Type: Report, working paper

Year: 2008


In many European countries trade unions face considerable membership problems. Union density varies between a mostly low level in southern and eastern European societies and high levels in Nordic countries. Moreover, there are considerable cross-national differences between social groups. To what degree do trade unions integrate their clientele and are they capable of mobilizing members? We study this question by using descriptive statistics from the European Social Survey of 2002/03 for (Western and Eastern) Germany and for 18 other European countries. We discuss crucial patterns of inclusion and exclusion in the organization of labour interests and possible explanatory factors for (non-) membership. In addition to social structural causes for low union density of women, the unemployed and atypical employed, we review several institutional factors that provide selective incentives for membership and foster union access to workplaces. The inclusion/exclusion perspective proves particularly valuable for the analysis of low representation of the unemployed and atypical employed as well for those working in peripheral (unorganized) workplaces.

Edition: 0

Institution: Mannheim Centre for European Social Research

Number of pages: 28

Number: 111

Series: Arbeitspapiere - Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung

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