From the Webbs to the Web: The Contribution of the Internet to Reviving Union Fortunes
NBER Working Paper No. 11298
This paper shows that in the 2000s unions in the UK and US made innovative use of the Internet to deliver union services and move toward open source unions better suited for the modern world than traditional union structures. In contrast to analysts who see unions as being on an inexorable path of decline, I argue that these innovations are changing unions from institutions of the Webbs to institutions of the Web, which will improve their effectiveness and revive their role as the key worker organization in capitalism.
Published: Fernie, Sue and David Metcalf (eds.) Trade Unions: Resurgence or Demise? Leverhulme Series Volume 3 on The Future of Trade Unions. London: Routledge, 2005.