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Global Unions Local Power

Author: Jamie K. McCallum
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801469481
Size: 48.25 MB
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View: 2016
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News about labor unions is usually pessimistic, focusing on declining membership and failed campaigns. But there are encouraging signs that the labor movement is evolving its strategies to benefit workers in rapidly changing global economic conditions. Global Unions, Local Power tells the story of the most successful and aggressive campaign ever waged by workers across national borders. It begins in the United States in 2007 as SEIU struggled to organize private security guards at G4S, a global security services company that is the second largest employer in the world. Failing in its bid, SEIU changed course and sought allies in other countries in which G4S operated. Its efforts resulted in wage gains, benefits increases, new union formations, and an end to management reprisals in many countries throughout the Global South, though close attention is focused on developments in South Africa and India. In this book, Jamie K. McCallum looks beyond these achievements to probe the meaning of some of the less visible aspects of the campaign. Based on more than two years of fieldwork in nine countries and historical research into labor movement trends since the late 1960s, McCallum’s findings reveal several paradoxes. Although global unionism is typically concerned with creating parity and universal standards across borders, local context can both undermine and empower the intentions of global actors, creating varied and uneven results. At the same time, despite being generally regarded as weaker than their European counterparts, U.S. unions are in the process of remaking the global labor movement in their own image. McCallum suggests that changes in political economy have encouraged unions to develop new ways to organize workers. He calls these “governance struggles,” strategies that seek not to win worker rights but to make new rules of engagement with capital in order to establish a different terrain on which to organize.

The New Politics Of Transnational Labor

Author: Marissa Brookes
Publisher: ILR Press
ISBN: 1501733206
Size: 35.64 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Over the years many transnational labor alliances have succeeded in improving conditions for workers, but many more have not. In The New Politics of Transnational Labor, Marissa Brookes explains why this dichotomy has occurred. Using the coordination and context-appropriate (CCAP) theory, she assesses this divergence, arguing that the success of transnational alliances hinges not only on effective coordination across borders and within workers' local organizations but also on their ability to exploit vulnerabilities in global value chains, invoke national and international institutions, and mobilize networks of stakeholders in ways that threaten employers' core, material interests. Brookes uses six comparative case studies spanning four industries, five countries, and fifteen years. From dockside labor disputes in Britain and Australia to service sector campaigns in the supermarket and private security industries to campaigns aimed at luxury hotels in Southeast Asia, Brookes creates her new theoretical framework and speaks to debates in international and comparative political economy on the politics of economic globalization, the viability of private governance, and the impact of organized labor on economic inequality. From this assessment, Brookes provides a vital update to the international relations literature on non-state actors and transnational activism and shows how we can understand the unique capacities labor has as a transnational actor.

Globalization And Labour In The Twenty First Century Open Access

Author: Verity Burgmann
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317227824
Size: 60.13 MB
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The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.tandfebooks.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license.Globalization has adversely affected working-class organization and mobilization, increasing inequality by redistribution upwards from labour to capital. However, workers around the world are challenging their increased exploitation by globalizing corporations. In developed countries, many unions are transforming themselves to confront employer power in ways more appropriate to contemporary circumstances; in developing countries, militant new labour movements are emerging. Drawing upon insights in anti-determinist Marxian perspectives, Verity Burgmann shows how working-class resistance is not futile, as protagonists of globalization often claim. She identifies eight characteristics of globalization harmful to workers and describes and analyses how they have responded collectively to these problems since 1990 and especially this century. With case studies from around the world, including Greece since 2008, she pays particular attention to new types of labour movement organization and mobilization that are not simply defensive reactions but are offensive and innovative responses that compel corporations or political institutions to change. Aging and less agile manifestations of the labour movement decline while new expressions of working-class organization and mobilization arise to better battle with corporate globalization. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of labour studies, globalization, political economy, Marxism and sociology of work.

Poor Workers Unions

Author: Vanessa Tait
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 1608465217
Size: 25.73 MB
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View: 1973
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A classic account of low-wage workers’ organization that the US Department of Labor calls one of the “100 books that has shaped work in America.” As low-wage organizing campaigns have been reignited by the Fight for 15 movement and other workplace struggles, Poor Workers’ Unions is as prescient as ever.