Social democracy and trade unions
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The future of European social democracy: building the good society
Are trade unions still relevant for social democracy? Not so long ago such a question would have sounded very odd indeed. Social democracy was the natural habitat of the trade union movement, the political space where union aspirations for better living conditions and the quest for solidarity found a sympathetic hearing and, more often than not, materialized in progressive legislation. The relationship was reciprocal, too: Social Democratic Parties enjoyed the benefits of close union ties in the electoral arena, directly through union political support and indirectly through funding campaigns, sponsoring and political propaganda. Perhaps more importantly, social democratic activists and politicians cultivated strong union ties to get a foothold in workplaces and thus to experience firsthand the fears and needs of working people. Social democracy and trade unions cultivated intimate ties at many different levels.
Published Version (Please cite this version)https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230355040_8