Transnational Trade Unionism

Building Union Power

Edited by Peter Fairbrother, Christian Lévesque, Marc-Antonin Hennebert

© 2013 – Routledge

304 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415818803
pub: 2013-03-01
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

Transnational trade union action has expanded significantly over the last few decades and has taken a variety of shapes and trajectories. This book is concerned with understanding the spatial extension of trade union action, and in particular the development of new forms of collective mobilization, network-building, and forms of regulation that bridge local and transnational issues.

Through the work of leading international specialists, this collection of essays examines the process and dynamic of transnational trade union action and provides analytical and conceptual tools to understand these developments. The research presented here emphasizes that the direction of transnational solidarity remains contested, subject to experimentation and negotiation, and includes studies of often overlooked developments in transition and developing countries with original analyses from the European Union and NAFTA areas. Providing a fresh examination of transnational solidarity, this volume offers neither a romantic or overly optimistic narrative of a borderless unionism, nor does it fall into a fatalistic or pessimistic account of international union solidarity. Through original research conducted at different levels, this book disentangles the processes and dynamics of institution building and challenges the conventional national based forms of unionism that prevailed in the latter half of the twentieth century.


"Drawing on top scholars in the field, this new volume offers concepts and analytical tools to further our understanding of the rapidly expanding varieties of transnational trade unionism."Edward Webster, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Understanding Transnational Trade Unionism Peter Fairbrother, Marc-Antonin Hennebert, and Christian Lévesque Part 1: Workplace Trade Unions: Bridging the Local and the Global 2. Workers’ Power: Fighting Sweatshop Practices at Russell Athletic in Honduras Mark Anner 3. Building North-South Transnational Trade Union Alliances: Prospects and Challenges Mélanie Dufour-Poirier and Christian Lévesque 4. Trade Union Strategies in Cross-Border Actions: Articulating Institutional Specificity with Local Power Dynamics Christian Lévesque, Gregor Murray, Chrsitian Dufour and Adelheid Hege 5. The Fragilities of East-West Union Cooperation: A Strike at Renault-Dacia Michèle Descolonges Part 2: National Trade Unions: Shaping New Forms of Solidarity 6. Building Transnational Unionism: Australian Transport Maritime Unions in the World Peter Fairbrother 7. Creating Spaces for Labor Internationalism: National Industrial Unions in the Southern Hemisphere and their Strategies Armel Brice Adanhounme and Christian Lévesque 8. Local Actors and Transnational Structures: Explaining Trends in Multinational Company-Level Negotiations in Europe Valeria Pulignano, Volker Telljohaan, Isabel Da Costa and Udo Rehfeldt 9. European Trade Unions and the Long March through the Institutions: From Integration to Contention? Richard Hyman Part 3: International Trade Unionism: Crafting Institutions for the 21st Century 10. The International Labor Movement: Structures and Dynamics Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick 11. Transnational Solidarity around Global Production Networks? Reflections on the Strategy of International Framework Agreements Michael Fichter, Markus Helfen and Katharina Schiederig 12. Opening the Black Box of Cross-Border Union Alliances: A Case Study Marc-Antonin Hennebert and Reynald Bourque 13. Labor Standards in Segmented Markets: The Construction Industry in Delhi and Moscow Nikolaus Hammer Conclusion 14. Futures of Transnational Unionism Peter Fairbrother, Marc-Antonin Hennebert and Christian Lévesque

About the Editors

Peter Fairbrother is a Professor of International Employment Relations and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work at RMIT University, Australia. He is also a core researcher at the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT). He has researched and published widely on trade union renewal, industrial restructuring and regeneration and the privatisation and reorganisation of public services and utilities. His recent work focuses on the mobilisation of labour in relation to the social and political transition towards low carbon economies. He has published nine books and numerous articles and book chapters.

Christian Lévesque is a Professor of Employment Relations at HEC Montréal, Canada, and Co-director of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT).His research focus concerns the impact of globalization on trade unions, employment practices in multinational corporations, and union-management relations. He has done extensive fieldwork in various parts of the world, including México, various countries in Europe, Ghana and China. He has published on trade union renewal, comparative employment practices in multinational corporations and transnational union action. He has co-edited a book and four special journal issues and published several articles and book chapters.

Marc-Antonin Hennebert is Assistant Professor in HR and Labour Relations at HEC Montréal, Canada and a core researcher at the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT). He holds a PhD from Université de Montréal and recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Management at King's College London. His recent research looks at the emergence of new forms of international labour regulation such as corporate codes of conduct, global framework agreements and international collective bargaining and its impact on actors and their strategies. He has recently published various articles and a book on international union alliances.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Employment and Work Relations in Context

The aim of the Employment and Work Relations in Context Series is to address questions relating to the evolving patterns and politics of work, employment, management and industrial relations. There is a concern to trace out the ways in which wider policy-making, especially by national governments and transnational corporations, impinges upon specific workplaces, occupations, labour markets, localities and regions. This invites attention to developments at an international level, marking out patterns of globalization, state policy and practices in the context of globalization and the impact of these processes on labour. A particular feature of the series is the consideration of forms of worker and citizen organization and mobilization. The studies address major analytical and policy issues through case study and comparative research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industrial Management