Plenary descriptions

Opening event (Friday evening)
Plenary meeting (Saturday morning)
Closing plenary (Sunday afternoon)

Opening Event (Friday evening): Global crisis, global solidarity – how do we build global union power?

The Global crisis which we are experience has made it ever more clear that the global working class needs to build its collective global power. Over the last decade, the international trade union organisations, such as GUFs and the ITUC, have explored various strategies to rebuild union power and extend its reach to global governance processes. We have won certain battles. In some places, trade union have become part of huge, but often shortlived, social movements. We have started to recognise, in many places, the importance of international cooperation (again).  But have we done enough? Have we found the right allies?  Which of these strategies are contributing to our longterm success? Are we winning battles, but losing the  war?  What do we need to do in order to build global solidarity that finally will enable us to overcome the global crisis of the current economic, political and social system?

Plenary Session (Saturday morning): How do we build power at the global workplace? Experiences in building various models

Global union power starts with worker power at the workplace – and in creating linkages between those various local workplaces so that workers can make their voice heard globally. Combining local organising and getting organised globally is a challenge. Global union federations have focussed a lot on transnational companies, where the need for global organising is most evident. Various models, from International Framework Agreements over creating networks between unions in TNCs to pushing for multiemployer agreements, have been pursued in order to challenge the rules under which global corporations build their labour relations.  However, outside TNCs and even outside the big companies as well, there is growing global networking, pushing for regulation and space for organising for workers as scattered, precarious and informalised as domestic workers. In this plenary discussion we will compare different strategies and explore, what they have in common, where they are disparate, and what they can tell us about ways forward.

Closing event (Sunday afternoon): A currently debated topic of the global labour movement – to be announced.

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