Trade unions’ protection of social and economic interests of young people: problems and limitations




trade unions, trade union youth, protection of socio-economic interests, efficiency, functions of trade unions, motives for participation, passive and active protection practices


The article considers factors that hamper the protection of social and economic interests of young people in trade unions and the development and performance improvement of trade unions. For this purpose, the authors analyze the data of their study which includes questionnaire surveys among trade unions’ youth and experts, expert interviews and content analysis of the trade union newspaper. The study reveals that young people have high demand for help and assistance provided by trade unions to protect their social and economic interests as at least one-third of the trade unions’ young people get the help they need. The trade union’s potential is mainly used to solve individual problems rather than to fulfill collective social and economic interests. The factors that hamper active practices among young people are bureaucracy, ineffective personnel policy, the merger of trade unions with the authorities and enterprises’ administration, gaps in legislation, law percentage of young people in sectoral and territorial trade unions, and especially ineffective outreach and awareness-raising work. The authors prove that most of barriers are caused by paternalistic settings and expectations of young people who have law motivation to become members of trade unions, law awareness of their rights and trade union membership opportunities, as well as their failure to define their request to trade unions.