Strikes Around the World

Case Studies of 15 Countries

Edited by Sjaak van der Velden, Heiner Dribbusch, Dave Lyddon, and Kurt Vandaele

Strikes Around the World
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Edited by Sjaak van der Velden, Heiner Dribbusch, Dave Lyddon, and Kurt Vandaele

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

384 pages | 6 2/3 x 9 3/8 | © 2007
Paper $65.95 ISBN: 9789052602851 Published January 2007 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Are strikes going out of fashion or are they an inevitable feature of working life? This is a longstanding debate. The much-proclaimed withering away of the strike in the 1950s was quickly overturned by the resurgence of class conflict in the late 1960s and 1970s. The period since then has been characterized as one of labor quiescence. Commentators again predict the strikes demise, at least in the former heartlands of capitalism.

Patterns of employment are constantly changing and strike activity reflects this. The secular decline of manufacturing in mature industrialized economies is of major importance here (though the global relocation of manufacturing may lead to some relocation of strikes). Simultaneously we see the growth of disputes in the service sector (the tertiarization of strikes). This is evident particularly in public services, including health care, social care and education, and is accompanied by a feminization of strikes, given the prevalence of women working there.

This unique study draws on the experience of fifteen countries around the world South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, United States, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Covering the high and low points of strike activity over the period 19682005, the study shows continuing evidence of the durability, adaptability and necessity of the strike.

General glossary
Editor’s foreword
      Sjaak van der Velden

Strike statistics and the problems of international comparison
      Dave Lyddon
A racially divided class: Strikes in South Africa, 1973–2004
      Wessel Visser
A century of general strikes: Strikes in Argentina
      Nicolás Iñigo Carrera
Public sector militancy, feminization, and employer aggression: Trends in strikes, lockouts, and wildcats in Canada from 1960 to 2004
      Linda Briskin
Strikes in a state corporatist system: Mexico
      Francisco Zapata Schaffeld
Approaching extinction? The decline of strikes in the United States, 1960–2005
      Joseph A. McCartin
Militant unionism in Korea
      Byoung-Hoon Lee
Strikes and lockouts in the Antipodes: Neo-liberal convergence in Australia and New Zealand
      Chris Briggs
From the seventies strike wave to the first cyber-strike in the twenty-first century: Strike activity and labor unrest in Belgium
      Kurt Vandaele
The persistence of labour unrest: Strikes in Denmark, 1969–2005
      Peter Birke
Strikes in France: Strong social eruptions and a weak tradition of collective bargaining
      Stephen Bouquin
Industrial action in a low-strike country: Strikes in Germany 1968–2005
      Heiner Dribbusch
Strikes behind the dykes: Netherlands, 1965–2005
      Sjaak van der Velden
From blue-collar wildcats in the 1970s to public sector resistance at the turn of the new millennium: Strikes in Sweden, 1970–2005
      Christer Thörnqvist
From strike wave to strike drought: The United Kingdom, 1968–2005
      Dave Lyddon
Comprehending divergence in strike activity: Employers’ offensives, government interventions and union responses
      Heiner Dribbusch and Kurt Vandaele

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