As a general rule of thumb, European trade movements have been stronger and more effective than those in the United States. Thus the major economic recession in the early 1980s, though experienced worldwide, hit especially hard in Europe, causing unprecedented damage to individual trade unions and labor movements in the postwar era. Governments felt the strain and responded by clamping down on efforts to increase wages and benefits. The European governments became obstinately rigid when approached by labor leaders, refusing to budge, determined that their deflationary policies would bring the countries out of the economic abyss.
Starting n the 1980s, labor movements lost their vigor as they witnessed a sharp decline in their influence on governmental policy as the economic situation worsened. Unemployment increased and, with a declining ability to provide job security, membership in trade unions dropped. Over 4.5 million blue-collar jobs have permanently disappeared since1979 (Melcher 80) and unemployed trade union members rarely stay active.? Feeling the daunting shadow of unemployment and fearful of losing their own jobs, union members became more reluctant to strike, therefore lowering their prestige by giving the impression that they are unable to have any influence on the course of events.? One member pointed out why:? ?when times are worst, when the worker most needs the protection of his union, that is when he?s most anxious about his job, and therefore there is a danger of solidarity breaking down? (Apple 10).? This is exactly what has happened.
As expected, the recovery from the recession has been painfully slow.? The push for the fusion of the continent...
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... 2003.? <http://www.workmall.com/wfb2001/greece/
Singer, Daniel.? ?Euroland vs. Dollarland?.?? The Nation.? 25 May 1998:? 2-6.?
Suro, Roberto.? ?Unions Strike to Protest Italy?s Deficit-Cutting Plan.?? New York Times 26 Nov. 1987:? 6.?
Tanner, Henry.? ?Italian Communists Never Have a Nice Day.?? New York Times 8 Mar. 1981:? E3.?
?Turkey Decrees Laws Curbing Role of Unions.?? New York Times 7 May 1983:? 5.?
?10 Union Activists are Freed in Turkey.?? New York Times.? 21 July 1982:? 7.?
Valenzuela, J. Samuel.? Labor Movements in Transitions to Democracy.? South Bend: Kellogg Institute:? 1989.?
Venditto, Gus.? ?Trade Unionism Still Under Attack by Ankara.?? Editorial.? New York Times 24 Dec. 1982:? 24.?
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