Authors: Ingrid Grosse
Trade union representativeness and invigoration are topics discussed in research concerning communist and liberal-democratic countries alike. At the same time, however, some researchers also highlight considerable differences between the role of unions in communist countries on the one hand and liberal-democratic countries on the other hand. In communist countries, unions are supposed to act not only on behalf of their members, but likewise as conveyer belts of public authorities. This paper addresses this incongruence in research by examining communist (VN, CHN) and liberal-democratic countries (S) regarding union representativeness. Both category-representation and opinion-representation are investigated in. Non-mirroring the labor force concerning categories such as females, the young or private employees is considered to be a problem for unions. In addition, incongruence of opinions concerning political and general social orientations can be a problem for unions’ representation, because they may be regarded as socially distanced. Data from the World Value Survey are used. Preliminary findings show that trade union members in the communist countries are in general not less representative for the wider labor force than in the liberal-democratic country, which partly contradicts earlier studies and expectations.
Keywords: trade union, representativeness, Vietnam, China, communism