To meet the challenges of globalization, unions must improve their understanding of the changing nature of corporate ownership structures and practices, and they must develop alliances and strategies appropriate to the new environment. Global Unions includes original research from scholars around the world on the range of innovative strategies that unions use to adapt to different circumstances, industries, countries, and corporations in taking on the challenge of mounting cross-border campaigns against global firms. This collection emerges from a landmark conference where unionists, academics, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations from the Global South and the Global North met to devise strategies for labor to use when confronting the most powerful corporations such as Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil.
The workplaces discussed here include agriculture (bananas), maritime labor (dock workers), manufacturing (apparel, automobiles, medical supplies), food processing, and services (school bus drivers). Kate Bronfenbrenner's introduction sets the stage, followed by contributions describing specific examples from Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Bronfenbrenner's conclusion focuses on the key lessons for strengthening union power in relation to global capital.