chapter  4
The Entangled Geographies of Trans-national Labour Solidarity
ByAndrew Cumbers, Paul Routledge
Pages 14

With the end of the Cold War in 1989, there was considerable hope that the international trade union movement would move beyond its traditional political and ideological schisms to begin to construct more genuine relations of transnational solidarity between workers. Certainly, there was a pressing need for new forms of global labour action to counteract the globalization of capital and the emergence of ever more complex networks of production and exchange (Dicken 2007), and during the 1990s a lively debate ensued about the forms that a more progressive and grassroots trade union internationalism might take (Moody 1997, Waterman 1998, Waterman and Wills 2001). Two decades on, a charitable view would be that progress towards genuine trans-national solidarity has been rather pedestrian. A more critical one would be that some old divisions, particularly between north and south, remain as entrenched as ever, whilst some of the new forms of global union organization are largely irrelevant to the challenges facing workers (see for instance Waterman 2007).