A Most Curious Lack of Curiosity: Global Unions as the Missing Link in Labour Movement Studies

David Huxtable


This paper is based on the author’s contribution to ‘The Research Agenda for the Left
Today’ panel held during the Society for Socialist Studies 2006 conference. It argues
that, despite the recent renewal of academic interest in labour movements, there is a gap in
contemporary research on organized labour around the existence of and potential future
role for actually existing global trade unions. The purpose of this paper is to spark an
interest amongst left academics in a future research project on the organizations which
comprise the recently created Council of Global Unions, and in particular the recently
created International Trade Union Confederation. After a brief introduction to the history
of these organizations and an outline of their activities, the author offers a number of
questions that may prove interesting for those concerned about the future direction of
organized labour at the global level.


Labour; international labour; trade unions

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18740/S42W26


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