This article examines union revitalization in Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on two countries: Hungary and Latvia. Trade unions have not only had to cope with a declining membership base, but have also had to respond to austerity programmes and government cuts in public sector employment. We argue that the inability of unions to provide a strong voice for alternative policies to the current neoliberal orthodoxy has been driven by a declining membership base, but also by weakened social dialogue mechanisms, limited industrial representation and an ageing membership profile, exacerbated by net outward migration in recent years. However, we find that unions in Latvia and Hungary have responded differently to these issues.
- industrial relations
- labour market