EMU and public service trade unionism: between states and markets

D. Foster, Peter Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article considers the attitudes to the single currency of public service trade unions, illustrating this through a number of nationally based case studies. We examine claims about the impact of EMU on welfare states and public expenditure, and particularly the extent to which the governance of EMU attests a ‘neoliberal', marketising approach towards the public sphere. We find that any such tendency has been offset by the recent resurgence of forms of national-level bipartite or tripartite economic and social coordination, managing the effects of EMU through social dialogue. The subsequent section of the paper develops a categorisation of four main trends evident in European public service trade unions'response to the single currency: enthusiasm, altruism, scepticism and resistance. The dominant attitude to date has been acceptance. We highlight dangers for democratic legitimacy within public sector unions in cases where leadership support for EMU has exceeded that of the membership, and indicate some potential areas for future public service union influence in the EMU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-721
Number of pages20
JournalTransfer: European Review of Labour and Research
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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