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From the Webbs to the Web: The Contribution of the Internet to Reviving Union Fortunes

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

This paper shows that in the 2000s unions in the UK and US made innovative use of the Internet to deliver union services and move toward open source unions better suited for the modern world than traditional union structures. In contrast to analysts who see unions as being on an inexorable path of decline, I argue that these innovations are changing unions from institutions of the Webbs to institutions of the Web, which will improve their effectiveness and revive their role as the key worker organization in capitalism.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11298.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Publication status: published as Fernie, Sue and David Metcalf (eds.) Trade Unions: Resurgence or Demise? Leverhulme Series Volume 3 on The Future of Trade Unions. London: Routledge, 2005.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11298

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Cited by:
  1. Alex Bryson & Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "What voice do British workers want?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19850, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Barry T. Hirsch, 2008. "Sluggish Institutions in a Dynamic World: Can Unions and Industrial Competition Coexist?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 153-176, Winter.

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