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Swiss trade unions and industrial relations after 1990: a history of decline and renewal
Title of the book
Switzerland in Europe. Continuity and Change in the Swiss Political Economy
Routledge Advances in European Politics
After decades of stability, Switzerland's unions entered a period of turbulence in the early 1990s: their status as junior partner in the corporatist growth pact was challenged by the economic crisis, business organizations' neoliberal turn and an abrupt decline in membership. These challenges put unions under pressure to initiate revitalization efforts. They first responded by investing more resources into political action, using direct democratic instruments to block neoliberal reforms. In parallel, they adopted new means of recruitment, affiliating white-collar unions, targeting private services and resorting more frequently to strikes. Finally, they rationalized their organizational structure through a series of union mergers.
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