Unions Fit for Young Workers?

18 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2003

See all articles by Jeremy Waddington

Jeremy Waddington

University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST); European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)

Allan Kerr



If trade unions are to reverse the membership decline sustained since 1979, more young workers must be recruited. This paper examines the views of young workers towards trade unions by reference to survey data. It argues that there is little evidence of a 'Thatcher's children' effect in which principled opposition to trade unionism is widespread. Instead the paper shows that shifts in the labour market, the effects of employer resistance to trade unionism and union inefficiencies have a marked effect on the unionisation of young workers.

Suggested Citation

Waddington, Jeremy and Kerr, Allan, Unions Fit for Young Workers?. Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 33, pp. 298-315, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=330370

Jeremy Waddington (Contact Author)

University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester M60 1QD, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) ( email )

B-1210 Brussels

Allan Kerr


London WC1H 9AJ
United Kingdom

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