1st Edition

Global Restructuring, Labour and the Challenges for Transnational Solidarity

Edited By Andreas Bieler, Ingemar Lindberg Copyright 2011
    278 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Globalisation has put national labour movements under severe pressure, due to the increasing transnationalisation of production, with the production of many goods being organised across borders, and the informalisation of the economy.

    Through a range of case studies, this volume examines the possibilities and obstacles to transnational solidarity of labour in a period of global restructuring and changing global political economy. It brings together a range of international and transnational case studies, examining successful and failed transnational solidarity covering inter-trade union co-operation as well as co-operation between trade unions and social movements within the formal and informal economy, and the public and private sector. It is structured in six parts and examines:

    • Globalisation and the new challenges for transnational solidarity
    • Inter trade union co-operation across borders.
    • The dynamics of co-operation between trade unions and social movements across borders, looking at developing and developed countries.
    • The struggles to defend the public sector against private service providers.
    • The possible ways forward towards transnational solidarity of formal and informal labour in the global economy.

    This book will be of interest to students and scholars of International Political Economy, International Relations, Industrial Relation, Globalisation, Geography and History.

    Part I: Introduction and Conceptual Considerations  1. Globalisation and the new challenges for transnational solidarity: an Introduction Andreas Bieler and Ingemar Lindberg  2. Trade unions, global competition and options for solidarity Richard Hyman  Part II: Trade union solidarity across borders?  3. West-East European Labour Transnationalism(s): Rivalry or Joint Mobilisation? Magdalena Bernaciak  4. Detours of Solidarity: Experiences from Ericsson in Colombia Jonas Sjölander  5. Building Rank and File Activism: A Study of the Global Action Day Campaign in the History of the International Transport Workers’ Federation  Mac Urata   Part III: Transnational solidarity involving trade unions and social movements 6. Informal work and transnational organizing  Ilda Lindell 7. What Does Transnational Labour Organizing and Solidarity Mean for Sri Lankan Free Trade Zone Women Workers? Samanthi Gunawardana 8. Victory through solidarity? The story of a women workers’ strike in Turkey’s Antalya Free Zone Tore Fougner and Ayça Kurtoğlu 9. Cross-border Wage Struggles in the Global Garment Industry: The campaign for an Asia Floor Wage Jeroen Merk Part IV: Transnational solidarity in defence of the public sector 10. Challenging privatisation and access to health care services: the role of trade unions Jane Lethbridge 11. Thinking through transnational solidarity: The case of SINTREAMCALI in Colombia Mario Novelli Part V: Trade union social movement co-operation in the developed world 12. How new social alliances changed politics in Norway Asbjørn Wahl  13. Trade union and social movement co-operation in the defence of the European public sector(and a postscriptum with Jan Willem Goudriaan) Andreas Bieler Part VI: What strategies towards transnational solidarity? 14. Making connections: Transnational solidarity through the internet Bruce Robinson 15. Varieties of solidarity: an analysis of cases of worker action across borders Ingemar Lindberg 16. Conclusions: A variable landscape of emerging transnational solidarities Andreas Bieler and Ingemar Lindberg


    Andreas Bieler is Professor of Political Economy and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) in the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham/UK. His research is predominantly focused on understanding the current struggle over the future economic-political model of the European Union (EU) and the possibilities to resist neo-liberal restructuring. He is author of Globalisation and Enlargement of the European Union (Routledge, 2000) as well as The Struggle for a Social Europe: Trade unions and EMU in times of global restructuring (Manchester University Press, 2006).

    Ingemar Lindberg is a former Researcher and Social Policy Adviser to the Confederation of Swedish Trade Unions (LO) where he was responsible for the Social Justice Project 1991 – 95 and the main report to the 1996 LO Convention. He has written many books and articles, the latest being Den globala kapiutalismen och det nya motståndet (Global capitalism and the new resistance, Atlas 2005).

    ‘Rich in contextual evidence, this book explains how globalizing processes elicit different responses from workers and beget varied outcomes. Bieler and Lindberg deftly weave together several case studies, showing obstacles and strategic possibilities for trade unions. Their analysis is a breakthrough in coming to grips with the nexus of globalization and social movements.’ - James H. Mittelman, University Professor of International Affairs, American University

    ‘Liberation from the neo-liberal straight-jacket of uncontrolled global
    economic power is impossible without the collective strength of working people.
    However labour has to change in order to achieve change. Trade unions need to
    reach beyond national boundaries, "standard" workers, and traditional labour
    issues to create the global, inclusive and innovative solidarity movement
    indispensable for change. This carefully edited book provides an excellent
    analysis of the formidable challenges a progressive labour agenda is facing.
    Solidarity does not emerge automatically, however, the collection of case
    studies provides encouragement that these challenges are not insurmountable as
    new broad coalitions emerge, new issues are taken up and cross boarder
    solidarity is practised. A must read for those who are concerned about global
    social justice and democratic self-determination.’ -
    Frank Hoffer, ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities

    ‘Bieler and Lindberg have brought together a great group of scholars and activists to address some of the most intractable issues in our current complex global modernity. Prominent among these are what it means to organize in today’s global economy and what are the new bases for solidarity when the space for politics cuts across the world. The many different perspectives in this book move us towards drawing this different type of map.’ - Saskia Sassen, Professor, Columbia University and author of Territory, Authority, Rights