Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1384-6639
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9692
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Projects initiated or supported by the regional branch of the Dutch FNV trade union confederation have introduced the concept of using “regional policy space”. Moreover, in the early 1990s these projects seemed able to halt the erosion of the confederation’s power. This article describes and analyses the “FNV industribution project”, focusing on the physical part of Value Added Logistics (VAL), aiming to cover this “white spot” with a social infrastructure. After five years of preparation, the project was launched in 1996. As four FNV unions were involved, FNV regional officers logically took the co-ordination role. This role was phased out with the amalgamation of these unions in 1998, while the new, unified union abolished their regional structures: the role of FNV officers as labour market specialists did not supply enough added value. An evaluation conducted in mid-2000 showed that the basis for a social infrastructure was laid, and that the union position was strengthened in two out of the four regions involved. Promising new ways of union working were developed, but the related learning effects were rather limited to individual regional officers. The virtual absence of organisational learning can be partly attributed to factors like the need for project management to concentrate on (external) funding, and partly to the rapid disappearance of FNV regional officers from the project.


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