Why Trade Unions Oppose Basic Income
In most OECD countries trade unions remain key players in the field of welfare state reform. And yet, surprisingly little attention has been paid by proponents of a universal basic income (BI) to the very position of workers unions on the radical reform that they are advocating. This paper tackles this issue in three complementary ways. First, it offers a brief overview of the (scarce) literature on basic income and trade unions. Second, it focuses on plausible arguments that could be used by trade unions to oppose or, alternatively, support a basic income. Finally, empirical information collected in Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands is used to test the robustness of the theoretical assumptions. These investigations demonstrate that trade unions are far from being natural allies of BI advocates within developed welfare states. As evidenced by the Belgian case, they can even constitute a significant obstacle to the political progression of the idea.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.