Authors: Elísio Estanque, Hermes A. Costa, Dora Fonseca, Manuel Carvalho da Silva
ISBN: 9781527599628
Format: New in Paperback
Extent: 222 pp
Price:  £30.99
Publication: April 2023
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Implosion or Reinvention?

This book analyses trade unions’ capacities of resistance following the period of austerity and “bailout crisis” in Portugal (2011-2015). Considering the destructive impacts of those policies on the working class and their unions, it explores three case studies in three productive sectors: the metal sector (Autoeuropa/VW); the telecommunications sector (PT-Telecom/Altice); and the transport sector (TAP – Air Portugal). In order to gather empirical information, the study uses qualitative methods, such as in-depth interviews and focus groups.

The book shows that social dumping, brutal unemployment growth, increasing poverty levels, spreading precariousness, wage cuts and labour rights suppression were some of the consequences of this period on the working class and trade unions. Drawing on the “power resources” theoretical approach, it shows how trade unions were able to react and “reinvent” themselves in terms of certain forms of power, while others “imploded” or were relegated to a marginal role.

same: one eye, an oversized nose attached to the mouth, and a lock of hair on the shoulders. Cubism was thus born” (cited in Janine Warnod, Washboat Days [New York: Grossman Publishers Warnod, 1972, p. 128]).