[Excerpt] What the cases in this book show is that the world's unions have a greater potential than most realize to take on the most powerful corporations and win. These cases also show how difficult that can be. It requires enormous effort, creativity, and a willingness to take risks and reach across differences. But going from individual cases to something bigger requires something else as well. As difficult as times are for workers in the Global North, and as much as the wealth accumulated by global capital comes mostly from taking enormous profits at the expense of all workers, part of the reason that capital is able to do what it does is that hundreds of years of colonialism and imperialism have restrained workers' power, wages, and labor costs. This not only has made many a CEO and corporate shareholder very rich but has helped make a middle-class lifestyle affordable for millions and millions of workers in the Global North that would not have been possible otherwise.