The paper aims to provide an insight into the psychic of working people in the immediate aftermath of the 1989 changes, especially with regards to their perception of the new free trade unions, how this perception changed and the role that education and training has played in helping them develop free and effective trade unions capable of operating in Market Societies.
The paper has used extensively the archives of the GPMU and UEG to piece together 15 years experience of a international trade union federation's efforts to assist its new affiliates in Central and Eastern Europe adapt to operating in a market economy.
The paper suggests that attitudes, perceptions and aspirations have changed, both amongst the newly democratised trade unions of the CEEC countries, and the trade unions in the West. Trade union education and training over the past 15 years has created confident and capable trade union organisations who now stand on equal terms with their Western European counterparts.
The authors access to the primary materials in the archives of the British Print Union and the European Federation for graphical workers provides a unique insight which demonstrates that the help and assistance given after 1989 was systematic, well planned, adequately funded and has provided tangible outcomes.
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