Bieler, Andreas (2012) ‘“Workers of the world, unite?” Globalisation and the quest for transnational solidarity’, Globalizations, Vol.9/3: 365-78.
As a result of the transnational organisation of production across borders and an increasing informalisation of work, trade unions find it ever more difficult to represent the interests of their members and broader society. This work assesses both the possibilities and obstacles for trade unions to build transnational, intra-, and inter-movement solidarity. The agency of labour is analysed against the background of structural change in the global economy as well as the fundamental dynamics of capitalism. Two main strategies initiated within the World Social Forum spaces are explored: those of ‘Decent Work, Decent Life’ headed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and related organisations and focusing on side agreements to free trade treaties, and initiatives by the Labour and Globalisation Network to increase cooperation with social movements.