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Trade unions and universal basic income

One of the issues commonly discussed today is the issue of universal basic income (UBI). The aim of the paper is to bring closer to the ongoing and slowly "flushing" discussion on basic income within the trade union movement. The trade union movement is deeply skeptical of the UBI. The reasons for the trade union movement's concern in the context of the possibility of using basic income as a response to the processes taking place in the labor market related to technological change seem to be as follows: i) the trade union movement seems to prefer the classic "right to work" over the "right to a basic income" due to the fact that performing work effectively integrates people into social life and is the basis for building a path of personal development; ii) trade unions fear that they will completely lose the ability to influence wages through collective bargaining and that wage issue will return to the sphere of individual tender of strength. It can be argued that where trade unions are still strong and have a real impact on the wage structure (for example Belgium or Germany), they are more clearly opposed to the UBI. Where these organizations operate to a greater extent in a highly flexible environment, they are more positive about this idea.

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Keywords: universal basic income; trade unions; social policy



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