In the wake of the financial and economic crisis, the trade unions face unprecedented challenges. While the European powers that be are blatantly coordinating the advent of national and European austerity policies, entailing drastic consequences for workers and the weaker members of society, the trade unions are set to mobilize their forces. The authors describe and illustrate various facets of this new situation. What role is played by economic governance? Does co-determination still have a chance? Is belief in market forces already firmly entrenched or can ways still be found of strengthening social rights? Do the European umbrella organisations pay obeisance to the official European bodies or are they mobilizing to bring about a serious change of course, to find the road to an alternative Europe?

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