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Trade Union membership in Belgium is about 73%.
There are historical and practical reasons for this high score.
It would demand a diary of plus-3000 words to explain this Belgian-Flemish-Walloon-Brussels situation where deliberation, concertation, consultation and 'acting with responsibility' between the 'Social Partners' is a piece of political artwork nobody can oversee anymore, but it works(well, to a certain degree....).

In practice, people are unionised because of very practical reasons.
Unions are f.i. responsable for paying out unemployement  compensation(State-controled). They do the paperwork, can offer legal advice and take care of your 'dossier'.

 Unions in Belgium are big administrations with local offices in place everywhere.
You pay for your membership, but as member and when you are employed you'll get a yearly bonus from a special fund (depending of the agreements of the year); in my case f.i. twice as much as my contribution.

Unions in Belgium have, all of them, bindings with the political parties. In every election (federal, regional, local and European) you'll find known union-leaders or-members) So in our government there are ministers coming directly from one of the unions.

But nowdays we see the more and more criticism towards the unions from the members themselves.
Unions are blamed to nest themselves with other elites and take more care for the organisation and their own positions rather than the interests of the workers in this (not so socal) Europe.
At the moment already two new organisations, formed by members of several unions, are emerging to take part in the elections of next year.  

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Thu Dec 21st, 2006 at 02:07:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgot the links :
15 December Movement (Flemish and French).
C.A.P.(Flemish).

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Thu Dec 21st, 2006 at 02:30:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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