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[Excerpt] This book is about the role that labor unions can and should play in modern service workplaces. Its central motivating question is whether strong and cooperative industrial relations institutions characteristic of social Europe have the potential to give service workers similar benefits to those achieved in the golden age of postwar manufacturing: productive and stable employment characterized by high job quality and low wage inequality. Past academic and policy debates on the relationship between national institutions, management strategies, and worker outcomes have focused overwhelmingly on large export-oriented sectors such as the global auto industry. Institutions in most service industries look a lot less coherent than those described in these accounts. Union membership and works council presence are much lower in services than in manufacturing. Service workers are also less likely to be covered by a union contract or to have traditional occupational training, and their jobs tend to be lower paid and less secure.


The abstract, table of contents, and first twenty-five pages are published with permission from the Cornell University Press. For ordering information, please visit the Cornell University Press.