April 28 2005
Never Work Alone
In April 2005 Cornell-ILR, along with trade union officials from ver.di, Germany's largest union, and members of The Hans-Boeckler-Foundation of the German Federation of Trade Unions, co-sponsored an historic week-long union strategy conference in Hamburg, Germany. Never Work Alone, the conference title, was convened to alert Germany's trade unions that American style "organizing and campaigning" would be required in order for the German trade unions to halt their declining membership and influence.
Cornell ILR faculty and International Programs' committee members Lowell Turner and Lee Adler gave joint key-note remarks and answered questions from the more than sixty trade unionists and community organizers present. SEIU, HERE/UNITE, and IFPTE (Boeing professional and technical workers) representatives also made presentations throughout the week.
Involvement in this event reflects ILR's continuing work and interest with progressive institutions throughout the European Union. In particular, it reflects the School's academic and practical focus on the rapid changes that are just now impacting Europe's most important national economy and its workforce.
Discussions in late May with conference organizers indicate that initial plans are underway for a follow-up country-wide conference with organizations represented at Never Work Alone.