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[Excerpt] The need for transnational collaboration among unions across the world is great and growing in the global economy. Case studies presented in this book demonstrate the active fermentation in cross-border relations and a variety of different approaches, goals, and targets. Yet the barriers to successful collaboration among unions in different countries remain immense: from differences in union structure, ideology, and culture to conflicting interests and differing levels of economic development. What unions have accomplished by operating internationally is important, indeed much more substantial today than ever before. Yet these efforts remain a drop in the bucket compared to the need for coordinated action created by the relentlessly globalizing economy. Unions need closer relations among networks of activists in different countries, between comparable national and local unions, and within multinational corporations. They also need closer relations among key union leaders who, when necessary, can shift resources into transnational cooperation so as to coordinate actions that may lead, ultimately, to cross-border collective bargaining. Finally, unions need a stronger, more coherent and cohesive voice in regulating the global economy, especially in strengthening its much needed "social dimension." Labor's voice should be included among those of decision-makers at the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund, and World Bank, and unions should be guaranteed a role in tripartite trade decisions at the national level.


Suggested Citation
Gordon, M. E. & Turner, L. (2000). Making transnational collaboration work [Electronic version]. In M. E. Gordon & L. Turner (Eds.), Transnational cooperation among labor unions (pp. 256-261). Ithaca, NY: ILR Press/Cornell University Press.

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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.