Age and Industrial Relations in Class-Based and Enterprise Unions

Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West

ISBN: 978-1-78714-639-6, eISBN: 978-1-78714-638-9

Publication date: 7 November 2017


This chapter discusses how trade union structuring and organisation in the West and Asia shapes how they respond to government and employer pressures to extend working life. Class-based solidarity building in the West should lead to unions protecting employment and pension rights by mobilising members to defend the ‘right to retire’ while campaigning for protections of all older workers. Enterprise unionism in Asia, on the other hand, should mean that unions use their close relationships with government and employers to protect the job security of core employees and mobilise company-based solidarity. Drawing on the survey data, expectations and awareness of union members and non-members are compared in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. It is shown that British union members have a greater understanding of their employment rights and retirement savings while in Hong Kong union membership correlates with better understanding of company HRM policies.



Flynn, M. (2017), "Age and Industrial Relations in Class-Based and Enterprise Unions", Flynn, M., Li, Y. and Chiva, A. (Ed.) Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West (The Changing Context of Managing People), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 141-163.

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