BreakBack has three main aims.
1. to assess which strategies trade unions adopt to overcome workers disaffection with active participation in interest representation practices.
2. to collect and describe the variety of services provided in five EU Member States, in terms of diffusion, degree of innovativeness, main targets, their governance and the possible presence of assessment plans.
3. to evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy of membership revitalization.
In other words, we intend to evaluate whether the provision of services leads effectively to an increase of union membership and/or to a growth of workers involvement in trade union activities, or, on the contrary, the net effect is still negative at the price of a commodification of the representation function.
In particular, BreakBack would address the following questions.
- How the trade unions, at the national and sectoral levels, cope with the decrease of union membership?
Are they experimenting specific revitalization strategies?
- Are those strategies related to the provision of any kind of services intentionally designed to affiliate
service users to the trade unions?
- What kind of services trade unions provide? What are their main features? Are they of an innovative
or a traditional kind?
- What is the impact of these services on membership and participation?
- Are some services more effective than others in increasing the chance for union membership? Are they
more effective vis-à-vis other more traditional revitalization strategies?
- Do the trade unions evaluate the impact of their strategies?
The targets of all these aims is mainly a non-academic audience at the national and international levels,
with special regard to trade unions. BreakBack also wishes to promote a process of institutional learning
across EU countries and to spread innovative solutions in the field of industrial relations.