Globalization, restructuring and unions: transnational co-ordination and varieties of labour engagement

Pulignano, Valeria; Martinez Lucio, Miguel and Walker, Steve (2013). Globalization, restructuring and unions: transnational co-ordination and varieties of labour engagement. Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, 68(2) pp. 261–289.

Abstract

The structure, content and space of union transnational co-ordination are much richer and complex than simply revolving around tensions and relations between bureaucrats and local activists. This is illustrated through the ETUC TRACE project, a study of a managed and steered form of international union coordination. Drawing on this study, this paper discerns a form of coordination that worked across various dimensions of action (i.e. “influencing” politics and “communicating” policy), various political relations (internal and external relations) and different organizational levels (micro and macro). By adding original material to the existing literature, the paper stresses the relevance of the project and the various dimensions for appreciating the problems unions face in establishing and sustaining effective cross-national coordination and a supportive environment of “union learning”. The TRACE project acknowledged the need to build coordination through a variety of means and serves as an invaluable insight and lesson into more managed and conscious forms of coordination.

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