Trade union organizing in Eastern Europe: A viable pathway to trade union revitalization? –A case study of the automotive sector

  • Adam Mrozowicki
Keywords: trade union organising, union renewal, union resources, worker agency


This article examines the mechanism of trade union organizing in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by exploring automotive sector trade union strategies in Estonia, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Data includes expert interviews, the case studies of companies and biographical interviews with company-level trade union leaders. Contrary to Anglo-American experiences, the most successful attempts to organize workers were bottom-up driven rather than top-down designed. This article explains this feature of organising in terms of the resource-based model of union revival, the institutional features of Polish, Slovenian, Estonian and Romanian industrial relations and worker agency at the company level. In the conclusion, the shortcomings of the company-centered approach are discussed.