Success and pitfalls of a large-scale union organizing strategy. The case of the CFDT

Special report: Trade unionization in France
By Cécile Guillaume, Sophie Pochic

In France, the CFDT is known to have promoted a strong policy of recruitment and organizing since the late 1980’s. This action has sustained a continuous growth of its membership until 2000. However, the will to develop a participatory union model is constrained by the oligarchic nature of the organization and the strength of union internal selection. Formal participation and access to full-time positions is not only linked to personal dedication, but requires a wide range of skills and aptitudes that can be quite detrimental for less-qualified members.


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