Cornell University

Cornell Global Labor Institute

16 East 34th Street, 4th Floor, 212-340-2840

Economic Alternatives

From 2006 to 2009, the Cornell Global Labor Institute convened a Global Trade Union Task Force on Development Alternatives. The goal of the Task Force was to produce a report that articulates an internationalist, sustainable and needs-driven development framework from a North-South labor perspective.

The Task Force consisted of union leaders and/or thinkers from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

Why a Global Trade Union Task Force?

Unions have been vocal and visible in their opposition to the neoliberal framework, and have proposed alternative policies around a range of issues and concerns while stressing enforceable workers' rights as a core requirement. But few would claim that international labor has a clear, coherent and compelling vision of what kind of world it wants or considers possible. More thinking needs to be done on getting the right macroeconomic environment to promote equitable development and ultimately eliminate poverty, on the distributive as well as redistributive role of the state, and on how to deal with the political and economic implications of the growing concentration of capital in the form of the large multinationals and institutional investors. The main goal of the Task Force was to offer an alternative framework from a union perspective that builds on the growing consensus across the international labor movement on key issues, while at the same time considering fresh perspectives and policies.

Task Force Members

Andrea Peart, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), Canada
Ashim Roy, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), India
Dan Gallin, Global Labour Institute-Geneva (GLI), Geneva
David Abdullah, the Chief Education Officer of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union and Leader of Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs, Trinidad and Tobago
David Hall, Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), UK
David Spooner, International Association of Workers' Education Associations (IFWEA), Global
Edlira Xhafa, Educational International
Estela Diaz, Central de los Trabajadores Argentinos (CTA), Argentina
Joaquín Nieto Sáinz, Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO), Spain
Josua Mata, General Secretary of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Philippines
Kjeld Jakobsen, Observatorio Social, Brazil
Oscar Olivera, Federación de Trabajadores Fabriles de Cochabamba (FTFC), Bolivia
Roger Toussaint, Transport Workers Union, United States
Yemesi Ilesanmi, Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigeria