Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Globalization of Organized Labour

Multinational corporations were quite successful at bringing organized labour to its knees. If they found labour demands unacceptable, they often just moved to another corner of the world more to their liking.

Now labour is fighting back - by turning multinational themselves:

"British, American and German unions are to forge a pact to challenge the power of global capitalism in a move towards creating an international union with more than 6 million members.
Amicus, the UK's largest private sector union, has signed agreements with the German engineering union IG-Metall and two of the largest labour organisations in the US, the United Steelworkers and the International Association of Machinists, to prevent companies playing off their workforces in different countries against each other.

"The move, to be announced this week, is seen by union leaders as the first step towards creating a single union that can present a united front to multinational companies.
Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, said: 'Our aim is to create a powerful single union that can transcend borders to challenge the global forces of capital. I envisage a functioning, if loosely federal, multinational organisation within the next decade.'

"Simpson added that multinational companies 'trade off countries and workforces against each other' and that forging such solidarity agreements as have been signed with German and US unions is the best way to combat such practices."

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