Dragos Adascalitei, Stefan Guga
Decentralization, Union Power and Contention Episodes: the Case of Dacia Workers

Marie Curie Changing Employment ITN Research Paper Series
28 S.
Marie Curie ITN ChangingEmployment Programme

In this article we investigate a case of successful union organizing in one automotive plant in Romania. We argue that in order to be able to explain why the union succeeds in defending workers’ rights we need to consider both the structural and the agency dimensions that condition labor’s capacity to effectively organize. We find that unions still organize at the plant level and do so effectively when they adopt an adversarial stance towards management. Our analysis of the case of the Dacia plant in Romania shows that the union there has made use of a diverse repertoire of protest activities in order to push for its demands. While striking proved to be a winning strategy for the union in the recent years, we also find that it is a strategy that is used less and less because of the shifting economic and political environment in which the plant is embedded.