Between Fragmentation and Globalization: U.S. Public Sector Unions and International Labor Cooperation

Source: Mark S. Langevin, Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 35 no. 3, September 2010
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From the abstract:
Labor leaders and theorists in the United States have called for greater international labor cooperation and solidarity in the face of economic globalization and the declining fortunes of many private sector unions. However, these calls have not adequately analyzed the important role U.S. public sector unions play in the national labor movement and their efforts to confront the threat of the privatization of public services through international labor cooperation. In this exploratory article, the author offers an analysis of U.S. public sector unions, their recent international programs and experiences, and the obstacles and opportunities for coordinating efforts to engage, and possibly transform, international labor cooperation. The author argues that the rising fortunes of most public sector unions are accompanied by increasing interunion contestation and fragmentation, leaving affiliation with the global union federations as the primary, albeit external, source of national coordination.

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