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Excerpt] There is no question that some unions, such as the UAW in auto-transplants and auto-parts, CWA/IUE in high tech and electronics, USWA in metal production and fabrication or the UFCW in food processing, face much greater challenges organising in their primary jurisdictions because they are confronted with more mobile, more global, and more powerful and effective employer opposition, and, in some cases, a workforce less predisposed to unionisation. Yet, as we have seen, even in the most adverse organising environments, union organising success can dramatically improve when unions utilise a comprehensive campaign strategy. Given these differences, what is perhaps most striking about our findings is how few unions are actually running comprehensive campaigns, or even consistently using any of the ten elements of our comprehensive campaign model. Most significant of all, only a smattering of unions today see themselves as global unions taking on global employers. They are not doing the strategic corporate research necessary to develop the kind of critique of the company needed to launch a truly multifaceted comprehensive campaign. They are not developing lasting labour and community networks, locally, nationally and internationally to help them build and leverage their power in the company and the industry. And they are not getting out in front on the issues that resonate with workers and the public ranging from universal health care, to the war in Iraq, global outsourcing, to affordable higher education.


Suggested Citation
Bronfenbrenner, K. (2008). The U.S. experience of organising in the context of the global economy [Electronic version]. In T. Hastings (Ed.), The state of the unions: Challenges facing organized labour in Ireland (pp. 185-217). Dublin: The Liffey Press.

Required Publisher Statement
©2008 by The Liffey Press. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.