Trade Unions and Multinational Corporations: European Context
Keywords:globalization, multinational corporations, trade unions.
This article explores dramatic changes in trade union movement across Europe due to the expansion of multinational
corporations (MNC). Intensified internationalization – more free and bigger in scope international trade, transnational
investment and financial globalization –increased the vulnerability of unions, ended the relative isolation of national
political economies. Transnationalization lowers the exit costs of capital and reduces corporate loyalty to the nation state.
Unions as mature social movement organizations are engaged in continuing strategic interactions with their constituents
and principal interlocutors in the economy and the state. The shift of the decision-making process from the level of nation
states to the MNC headquarters inevitably reduces bargaining power of national trade unions and stresses the vital
importance of working out their new strategy. As markets, expanded unions have to enlarge their strategic domain to keep
workers from being played off against each other, undermining wage and labor standards. On the basis of cross-national
approach article examines responses of union movements to the challenges of globalization.