Increasing flexibility of working conditions and time, called the "flexibililization of labour" - is a strategy pursued by employers in a climate of economic integration and industrial competitiveness. An often deliberate side benefit is that increased flexibility is often linked with the fragmentation of workers. The willingness of workers to step into flexible forms of working can be explained by the job shortage. A diversity of working times and employment contracts fosters individualization and interferes with workers' solidarity. It also causes, or adds to, clashes of interests between workers and job-seekers, but also between workers in the field of working conditions. Employers, and sometimes also government, attempt to carry this strategy through without involving (and sometimes even against) the trade unions. Nationwide bargaining and general rule are avoided as much as possible.
Neither the European Commission nor the corporations really care about the trade-unions. The EU is an obstacle to international trade unionism, since the Euro currency, the Maastricht criteria and the stability pact constitute an economic corset that leaves little room for being social. Additionally the unions are rather ineffective. All trade-unions combined employ about 50 lobbyists in Brussels, compared to thousands of corporate lobbyists ([eg] one oil company employs 400 lobbyists to communicate with the 700 members of the European Parliament). The communication of the 'central' trade-union with the 'local' trade-unions in the member countries is also quite bad - the centre is too far away and speaks a different language [also literally]).
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.