USi had the privilege to attend the Global Labour Institute Summer School (pdf brochure) at Northern College in Barnsley, South Yorkshire last week. The summer school was attended by trade unionists from around the world, who shared sessions on what wa …

Walton Pantland

USi had the privilege to attend the Global Labour Institute Summer School (pdf brochure) at Northern College in Barnsley, South Yorkshire last week. The summer school was attended by trade unionists from around the world, who shared sessions on what was happening in their respective countries.

The video below gives a flavour of some of the debates.

 

 

What rapidly became apparent was how similar many of these experiences are: in an era of globalisation, the assault on working people is international, and national strategies are no longer sufficient to tackle these.

Some of the subjects discussed included:

  • The rise of the ‘precariat‘ as a new class of difficult to organise and permanently precarious workers
  • The financialisation of companies (pdf) – as more and more companies now make more money from their investment arms than from manufacturing, old negotiating strategies no longer work
  • The failure of social democratic parties around the world to articulate alternatives to austerity
  • How trade union laws restrict union power
  • New unions in Egypt after the Arab Spring
  • The rise of alternatives in Greece
  • The Chinese labour movement

…and much more. For some essential background reading, see here.

Participants at the summer school affirmed the need for international work: as out of control feral capitalism destroys the social gains of the last century, we need to unite across borders to defend working people and build a better world.

USi was also very pleased at the many excellent, committed contacts we made. We’ll be working together in future to bring you web conferences and more with many of the participants from the summer school, so that their insights can be shared with a wider trade union audience.


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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