Organisational development

TUs organisational development for quite some time had been marked by a systematic loss of membership. This is now spreading to the best systems and hitting across the region. Attempts to offset this trend have brought certain successes - at best stabilising levels of unionisation, but no generalised reversal of the process seems in sight and in the foreseeable future.

In a number of cases, particularly in Eastern Europe, trade unions have already identified problems with the structuring of organisations in relation to the logic and operation of collective bargaining process and other important dimensions that need to be addressed.

Improving membership levels is a critical challenge for trade unions in a number of directions. It is first of all an efficient shield against questioning the representativity and legitimacy of the organisations representing working people in the social dialogue process. In the centre of such policy approaches are the specific organisational settings within each national context. The external inputs in the processes of adjustment and improvement of internal operation can mainly follow internal initiatives and provide “relevant” reference points and experiences from outside to help initiate debates and facilitate inter-organisational exchanges. PERC stands ready to facilitate all efforts toward stabilization of trade union structures and increasing membership levels.