Reimagining Our Worlds from Below: Panel 7



From Everyday Struggles to Global Change:

Possibilities and Hurdles for Transnational Social Movement Unionism

May 20, 12-1:30p UTC

In face of multiple crises of global capitalism, workers and unions are developing new forms of transnational cooperation with social and ecological movements. They seek to develop new connections and joint struggles toward social change. Yet, they also face hurdles posed by differences in the working and living conditions, experiences, and histories across countries. Hence, the task is to build a transnational labour movement that links everyday struggles for social change and thereby has the potential to contest capitalist relations and their negative social and ecological effects at the global scale.

Such labour movements act within an arena where institutional forms of conflict regulation become more and more dominant. Multi-stakeholder-initiatives, dominated by transnational corporations, governments, and transnational NGOs with their own concepts of “social change” shape the terrain for the agency of labour movements. Thus, they often hamper militant and conflict-oriented strategies.

In this panel, we invite activists from labour movements, especially grassroots unions, and engaged scholars working on transnational labour to share and discuss their efforts to build links between movements around the world. How do you understand social change? How can different places and actors be connected through struggles that promote emancipatory social relations? What are experiences from labour movements when it comes to engaging with institutional forms of conflict regulation?

Session Organizers: Tatiana López Ayala, WZB Berlin Social Science Centre; Janina Hirth, tie network (transnationals information exchange); and Michael Fütterer, tie network (transnationals information exchange).

Click on the presentation name to link to abstract and presenter bio.

“Building Networks Along Global Value Chains: The IG Metal l Network Initiative”

Hendrik Simon, Goethe University Frankfurt and Peace Research Institute (Germany)

“Decent Work for Domestic Workers: ILO Convention 189 and the Brazilian Window of Opportunity”

Cyntia Machado, PhD Student, Institut für Mingrationsforschung und Interkulturelle Studien, Osnabrück Universität (Germany)

“Northern Superheroes – Southern Victims? Trade Union Alternatives for Solidarity Along Supply Chains”

Dithhi Bhattacharya, Labour Organiser at the Centre for Workers’ Management (India)

Recording of Live Panel Discussion

1 reply
  1. Pattie
    Pattie says:

    Hi everyone! I am the 2021-22 Chair of SSSP’s Transnational Virtual Initiatives Committee, the group that organized this conference. I am excited that our conference is finally here and we have a chance to hear from people who care about social problems around the world.

    I wish you a good conference. I hope you will join us in this forum, just introducing yourself and sharing your thoughts, insights, questions and your own work. Welcome!

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