This is about a merger with a difference. Two large labour unions in the US and the UK have decided to come together and form a transatlantic union that will represent the interests of 2.8 million workers in steel, oil, paper, transport and health care.
The past two decades have seen globalization of capital even as labour has remained resolutely national. That’s one reason why labour has stepped back in defeat from the picket lines. Is Workers United the first of several attempts to build transnational unions to balance transnational companies?
“Globalization has given financiers licence to exploit workers in developing countries at the expense of our members in the developed world,” says one official in the new union. “Only global solidarity among workers can overcome this sort of global exploitation wherever it occurs.”
That reeks of an attempt to ensure that jobs in the West do not move to poor countries.
So much for solidarity!