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22 May 2018

TURI Network of Trade Union Research Institutes celebrates Tenth Anniversary

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The tenth anniversary of the TURI (trade union-related research institutes) network was marked this month when the group of 32 member organizations met in Berlin to discuss the current challenges facing labour and trade unions. Since its foundation in November 2007 TURI has gone from strength to strength as a forum for bringing together researchers from all over Europe to analyse current policy challenges.

TURI provides a long-term platform for formal contacts between the institutes supporting the trade union movement across Europe. Its aim is to build the foundations for collaboration and knowledge-sharing among them while integrating the European dimension into their research work.

Maria Jepsen, the ETUI’S research director, said that TURI’s influence tended to be gradual, but often of fundamental importance in bringing important economic, social and labour market issues onto the table. Recurrent themes of growth and low pay that had been ignored by many policymakers for some time had recently been successfully brought to the forefront of economic debate by trade unions drawing intellectual ammunition from TURI-affiliated researchers.

“TURI operates very effectively as a community of researchers bringing their expertise to bear on applied policy problems facing trade unions’, said Ms Jepsen. This was echoed by Lionel Fulton of the London-based Labour Research Department, a TURI-member, who agreed that: “TURI provides a unique opportunity to meet with colleagues grappling with similar problems in other countries.”

TURI was founded in November 2008. Its first workshop, held in Brussels at the beginning of the financial crisis, comprised 25 institutions from 16 European countries and was entitled ‘The future of trade union structures and strategies’. It was followed by the publication of a joint TURI report on national stimulus packages.

The network held its second conference in Madrid in 2010, which started a discussion that led to a TURI working group on wages and collective bargaining. Subsequent workshop meetings have focused on a range of other issues including social dialogue and alternatives to GDP. This year’s tenth anniversary meeting was held in Berlin from 16-18 May and included expert sessions on varied topics, including: German industrial relations, the Future of Europe, the enforcement of worker’s rights, and the apparent trade-off between job creation and job quality. 

TURI currently comprises 32 members and 10 associated members from 20 European Union countries and Norway. TURI is supported by the ETUI and the Hans Böckler Foundation. More details of the TURI network can be found here.

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