The unions have long been in crisis, both as an expression of social movements and as institutions. Their function once combined the representation of labour movements in the industrial relations system and a general idea of work in society. This intersection is nowadays much less tangible and increasingly riven by tensions in the face of social change and economic down-turn. The unions, however, still represent an important mediator, where collective action is structured democratically for the regulation of conflict.
Keywords: Trade unions, crisis, labour movement, industrial relations, representation of work, representation of workers