January 17 2008
Global Unions: new book comes out of ILR global conference
Kate Bronfenbrenner, Director of Labor Education Research at ILR, has edited a book about meeting the challenges of globalization, and how unions must improve their understanding of the changing nature of corporate ownership structures and practices to develop alliances and strategies appropriate to the new environment. The book is a follow-up to the 2006 Global Unions Conference. The following is an excerpt from the publisher, Cornell University Press.
To meet the challenges of globalization, unions must improve their understanding of the changing nature of corporate ownership structures and practices, and they must develop alliances and strategies appropriate to the new environment. Global Unions includes original research from scholars around the world on the range of innovative strategies that unions use to adapt to different circumstances, industries, countries, and
corporations in taking on the challenge of mounting cross-border campaigns against global firms. This collection emerges from a landmark conference where unionists, academics, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations from the Global South and the Global North met to devise strategies for labor to use when confronting the most powerful corporations such as Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil.
The workplaces discussed here include agriculture (bananas), maritime labor (dock workers), manufacturing (apparel, automobiles, medical supplies), food processing, and services (school bus drivers). Kate Bronfenbrenner's introduction sets the stage, followed by contributions describing specific examples from Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Bronfenbrenner's conclusion focuses on the key lessons for strengthening union power in relation to global capital.