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Labor Internationalism

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author aims to sketch out the long-term trends in the efforts of workers to develop cross-border solidarity, focusing on trade-union activities. The chapter begins with the motives behind such activities, and then traces different phases in the development of such solidarity from the early nineteenth century up to the present. It further provides a few speculative remarks about the century ahead. In the course of the national" phase of internationalism, the number of international trade secretariats was swelled by additional umbrella organizations, and dwindled as the result of amalgamation. The author suggests that the current prolonged transitional phase can lead to an entirely new stage, that of transnational internationalism. It seems likely that the emerging transnational internationalism will be a difficult, protracted process, interspersed with failed experiments and moments of deep crisis.

Keywords: cross-border workers' solidarity; international trade secretariats; labor internationalism; trade-union



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