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Chapter 5

The Future of the U.S. Labour Movement in
an Era of Global Economic Integration

George de Martino 


Regional and global economic integration have substantially eroded the ability of U.S. unions to protect their members' wages, benefits and employment security. An immobile workforce increasingly confronts hyper-mobile capital which can make good on threats to flee to lower-waged countries like Mexico or Malaysia if its U.S. employees fail to provide sufficient concessions (cf. Tilly 1995). The growing power imbalance between capital and labour has been exacerbated in recent years through the codification of international neoliberalism in the form of regional and global free trade and investment pacts, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the new World Trade Organization. By removing restrictions on the flow of goods and capital, these agreements ease the relocation of enterprises and place workers around the globe into direct competition for jobs. Today, for example, multinational corporations (MNCs) employ upwards of a half-million workers in about two thousand assembly plants in the export processing zone along the U.S. border in Mexico. Many of these "maquiladoras" are transplants from the U.S. that have fled the higher wages and more restrictive labour and environmental standards in place in the U.S. Engineering this shift toward global neoliberalism have been centrist and right-wing political regimes in North America and elsewhere which have been altogether hostile to labour's interests.

This, at least, is the most popular diagnosis of the crisis confronting U.S. labour today, especially among union leadership and sympathetic observers. It is a diagnosis that identifies capital and its neoconservative representatives in government as the chief architects of labour's demise. And there is certainly a good deal of truth to this account.

But is this the whole story? I think not. The problems facing the U.S. labour movement-such as declining union density, difficulty in organizing new union members, concessionary bargaining, etc. - began well before the recent rush toward global neoliberalism was underway. It also affects industries across the board, from the tradeable manufacturing sector to the largely non-tradeable industries, such as meatpacking, services, and the public sector. Regional and global economic integration has amplified labour's crisis to be sure, but it did not induce it. It is more correct to say that the forces of globalization have swamped an already listing ship.

This paper will present an alternative account of the crisis facing U.S. labour--one that focuses on the question of union identity. I will argue that U.S. unions have been undermined by a fundamental but largely unacknowledged identity crisis. To pursue this matter we must ask what is it that U.S. unions do, what have they become, and why they have failed in the mission they have set for themselves? The central point to note in this regard is that there is no single model of unionism; instead, union movements embrace particular visions that come to define their strategies and goals (cf. Hyman 1994). When these strategies fail, we are therefore encouraged to interrogate the adopted union identities.

The question of union identity bears directly on the question of possible futures for the U.S. labour movement in an era of global economic integration. I will argue that the U.S. labour movement has faltered in part because of its particular self-identification, and because of the implications of this particular identity for inclusion and exclusion--for who is defined "in" (as viable union members) and who is defined "out" (and therefore excluded from organizing campaigns, etc.). Historically, U.S. unions defined some U.S. workers as appropriate members and therefore to be their primary concern, thereby excluding not only workers in other countries but also many workers in the U.S. Moreover, by defining union membership by exclusive reference to employment status, the union movement excluded many other members of society and narrowly proscribed the union mission around employment matters.1

From this perspective, globalization is an important process because it heightens the crisis facing the labour movement and, thereby, forces reconsideration of the questions of union identity and the terms of inclusion and exclusion. The paper draws on these insights to project two possible futures for U.S. unionism: one that retains its basic identity and attempts to restore the conditions for its success in an integrating global economy; and one that fundamentally challenges this identity. 

II. Social versus Business Unionism

Progressive union activists have criticized U.S. unionism for the past several decades for having forfeited its chief sources of legitimacy and strength (cf. Moody 1988). Critics charge that two models of unionism have competed over the past century in the U.S.: a broadly defined "social unionism" that speaks to the issue of social justice in and outside of the employment context, and a much more narrow "pure and simple" unionism that accepts the broad contours of capitalist society but which asserts the right of workers to secure a decent living standard while being protected from arbitrary management practices. The former model identifies unions as vehicles for broad social mobilizations against entrenched privilege and inequality of incomes and life opportunities; the latter sees unions as partners with the state and business in achieving competitiveness for U.S. firms while ensuring that some of the gains achieved through productivity increases flow to union members. The former is predicated on a multifaceted campaign for equality and justice; the latter sees unions as managers of the conflict between capital and labour.

To the dismay of many activists and progressive observers, the latter model of unionism has largely eclipsed the former in the U.S. The defeat of social unionism occurred over the course of a century of orchestrated government repression and corporate resistance to more radical unions and union activists, often with the tacit support of conservative union leaders. The payoff for the advocates of pure and simple unionism was the extension of important legal protections to unions in their efforts to secure employer recognition and collective bargaining agreements (Milton 1982).

Why did unions themselves forfeit the broader vision of union identity represented by social unionism? The most common explanations cite the related factors of the co-optation (and even corruption) of union leadership, and the demise of union democracy. Union officials came to be more concerned with the protection of the union (and their own places of leadership within it) than with the interests of ordinary working people. Centralization of union authority allowed these leaders to dictate the unions' agenda and to defeat progressive opponents, while insulating themselves from the life circumstances of those they purported to represent. Facing strong resistance from capital and the state to more expansive campaigns for social justice, union leaders found it expedient to shape union identity into forms that encouraged least opposition to union survival. 

The prescription offered by many progressives follows directly. Unions must be democratized through decentralization of authority, to allow rank and file union members to take back control of their own institutions. Powerful central union hierarchies must be dismantled to prevent the capture of union power by special interests. Freed from such constraints, union members will revert to broader economic and social agendas, forge coalitions with other progressive groups (both at home and abroad) in pursuit of social and economic justice, and re-instill mass mobilizations and grass-roots activism as the chief union weapons in campaigns against corporate and state power. All told, this devolution of authority from the center to the rank and file will serve to restore union legitimacy and vitality, and will thereby inaugurate innovative new campaigns to organize and protect communities of working people.2

But this progressive diagnosis and prescription misses something important. Although focused on union identity, this diagnosis fails to recognize the class nature of contemporary U.S. unions. As Annunziato (1990) has argued, the collective bargaining focus of U.S. unionism-which the progressive perspective largely accepts-reflects a transformation of U.S. unions into capitalist enterprises that, like other businesses, sell a commodity for a fee. U.S. unionism should be seen as service sector enterprises, not unlike insurance companies. Following Annunziato, we may call the service being sold "union representation." This is reflected in the priority placed on collective bargaining as the means to secure employment protections to customers (union members). The terms of the contract provide due process in cases of discipline, wage increases, a degree of job security (e.g., seniority protection), etc. Unions attempt to sell this service through organizing drives, during which the union must convince potential customers of their need for the service. 

The service union representation has several peculiar attributes relative to other services. First, potential customers (unorganized workers) must commit to its purchase prior to its production. Production of the service comes in the form of initial contract negotiations, during which the union attempts to force a firm to provide the protections and benefits that it promised during the organizing campaign. Second, production of the service requires the willing efforts--often herculean--of those who purchase it. That is, union members must be enlisted in an often protracted struggle to secure a contract that provides the protections and benefits they seek. Like certain other goods, such as handguns, or abortions, it is one that is produced and marketed under siege--against the opposition of well-mobilized groups with a strong interest in preventing its existence. Corporations undertake tremendous expense and effort to disrupt union sales efforts. Third, the union's effort to overcome employer opposition also often requires a broad campaign to secure community support beyond those who will receive the direct benefits of union representation.

In short, the successful appearance of this service requires a continuing political campaign to secure its "conditions of existence" (Resnick and Wolff 1987). At a minimum, this requires the provision of free labour and the acceptance of substantial risk by members; mobilization of support from outsiders; a combination of legal and extra-legal strategies by the union and union supporters to win corporate acquiescence, etc.

Contradictory Conditions of Existence of Commodity Unionism

This aspect of union representation rests on a fundamental contradiction that must be continually managed by the union movement. One condition of existence for the sale of any commodity is that it not be generally available outside of the market for it. People will not buy a commodity when it or some close substitute is available for free. Like other commodity providers, then, the union must market something that customers cannot otherwise obtain. But this means that unions must be wary of government initiatives to generalize the benefits of union representation to non-union members. And indeed, U.S. unions have historically displayed an ambivalent attitude toward universal employment protections, and have concentrated their legislative efforts on securing protections for union rights and other conditions for unions to be able to provide union representation (Brody 1967; Aronowitz 1983).

The need to secure this condition relates directly to the matter of inclusion/exclusion. To be marketable, union representation must entail a differential: union members must receive something not available to non-members. The benevolent face of this differential is that it serves as an inducement to non-union members to join and thereby enjoy this benefit. But the differential is less benevolent when combined with exclusionary practices that define some workers (and other members of society) as ineligible; the non-unionized then serve as the "other" against which union membership is defined. The historical reluctance of U.S. unions to organize among women, ethnic and racial minorities, those who work without wages (such as those who perform household labour) or who are outside the workforce, the self-employed and workers outside of the U.S. may be seen from this perspective as a malevolent complement to the commodity producing nature of the pure and simple model that has come to predominate in the U.S. labour movement.

But this condition of existence confronts a second, equally important condition that is largely hostile to it. As we have seen, the fact that this service is produced and marketed under siege requires that union members and others bear risk and provide unpaid labour (among other things) to ensure its success. But why would they do this? Those who buy Fords do not regularly mobilize to secure access to this commodity, and would no doubt find a request that they do so to be laughable. Historically, workers have undertaken such efforts precisely because and to the degree that union representation is seen not to be a commodity, but a social movement. People generally do not put their incomes, careers, and even lives on the line to ensure the production and sale of a commodity--but they do, sometimes, when some higher (non-pecuniary) value is at stake. Some people campaign for the right to buy and possess handguns because they see the matter as a constitutional right; others advocate for access to legal and safe abortions because they see it as an expression of a woman's fundamental right to exert control over her own body. Similarly, workers sometimes engage in struggles to secure union representation in the belief that so doing defends a fundamental right: the union organizing campaign reflects the aspiration for human dignity and justice. On these grounds, workers have historically fought against the state, police, corporate power, and sometimes the clergy, community leaders and even family members to secure union representation. And indeed, they are warranted in doing so-union organization is a fundamental right; union struggles are potentially struggles for higher human and social values; the fight to secure union representation can be and often is an ennobling experience.

But herein lies the contradiction: securing the first condition of existence (the union differential) may undermine the second, especially if eligibility for union representation depends on restrictive criteria that exclude many who need collective organization and protection. The commodity nature of union representation may be exposed, jeopardizing the union's purchase as a social movement worthy of broad support and sacrifice. In this case, unions may come to be branded as a special interest whose claim to social movement status is self-serving and undeserved. When this happens, the broader community may not be so willing to endorse union strikes, while even union member might chafe at the idea of letting union leaders dictate how they should vote (nor would they let insurance industry executives do so), what terms of employment they should accept, or what they should be prepared to sacrifice for the "good of the union" (cf. Tasini 1995).

The most important manifestation of this contradiction may be that workers have come to take an instrumental as opposed to expressive view of union membership.3 Having been trained by unions themselves to see unions as providers of a differential, they may come to evaluate union membership against just this criterion. Rather than ask how union membership contributes to a campaign for social justice, they may come to ask whether they are getting good value for their dues payments. Is the union in a position to deliver the goods it purports to guarantee? Will the cost of striking be offset by the direct financial improvements that the strike might induce? Just as consumers of other goods might perform a cost/benefit analysis in contemplation of a purchase, so might union members come to assess their union membership in these terms. 

The Impact of Globalization

What light does this analysis shed on the question of the impact of globalization on the fortunes of U.S. unionism? Globalization has undermined the ability of U.S. unions to deliver higher wages, employment protections, etc. On this, there is little disagreement today. But we can now see that this is a daunting problem for U.S. unions precisely because of the degree to which they have adopted an identity as commodity producer. Having "advertized" the union differential, they now find themselves victims of the very standards of assessment that they themselves devised. U.S. workers can hardly be faulted for abstaining from union participation today on instrumental grounds when this is exactly how unions have defined themselves for much of the postwar period. In the era of globalization, when unions are having greater difficulty producing the goods, union membership may not seem to be a particularly good buy. To the contrary, unionizing may be seen to induce a result quite opposite to what is being marketed--not least, leading to reduced job security as employers threaten to fire union activists and/or relocate to lower-waged sites in response to union demands.

To summarize, globalization has made it difficult for U.S. unions to protect union members, to be sure. But it has not been the primary determinant of falling union density, or the erosion of worker commitment to the union movement. Rather, these debilitating trends are the outcome of the failure of a particular union identity--that of capitalist producer of the commodity union representation--which has been exacerbated by economic globalization. A union movement primarily oriented around broad, inclusive social campaigns for economic and social justice might indeed find enhanced worker commitment during particularly tough moments. But the commodity nature of U.S. unionism has ultimately come to obstruct this kind of commitment among most U.S. workers.

III. Possible Futures for U.S. Labour in an Era of Globalization

Following from the above, we can discern two distinct futures for labour. The first largely takes union identity and practice (including its commodity-producing character) for granted, and seeks to reestablish the conditions for its survival and success in the new context of global economic integration. This is perhaps the most likely future, and it is already underway. In this case, for example, U.S. unions might be expected to respond to NAFTA by deepening their cooperation with Mexican and Canadian unions. A bold gesture in this direction would be the institution of continent-wide bargaining, either within MNCs or across an entire industry. Less dramatically, we might expect to see increased transnational strike support, boycotts, and other acts of direct action. These kinds of initiatives are already underway (for examples, see Reza, Peake and Dyck 1996; Kidder and McGinn 1995; Hunter 1995; Moody and McGinn 1992; and Brecher and Costello 1991). This approach also entails efforts to secure the harmonization of labour protections across the continent. This is intended to prevent what has come to be called "social dumping," or the race by corporations to seek out the lowest labour, environmental and other standards. For example, during the campaign against NAFTA, some U.S., Canadian and Mexican unions fought for the institution of a "social charter," patterned on that adopted by the European Union, to ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of workers across the continent (Castañeda and Heredia 1992). This future might also entail pooled organizing efforts to establish unions throughout the production facilities of MNCs operating on the continent.

We can note two patterns of organizational form that have emerged that, while not reducible to this agenda, have been broadly supportive of it in recent years.4 The first entails the formation of transnational coalitions of existing institutions in pursuit of particular ends, such as the successful conclusion of a strike. In this model, unions sometimes reach out to their counterparts in other countries for mutual support, financial and technical assistance, information, and solidarity (see Cavanagh and Broad 1996; Herod 1995; Armbruster 1995; and Moody and McGinn 1992). This approach largely reproduces on an international scale the kinds of coalitions that unions have pursued within the U.S. over the past century (see Brecher and Costello 1990). Often such coalitions are run by union officials, and last only as long as the specific campaign around which they emerge. The second form entails the formation of looser transnational networks of activists and community members that reach beyond unions and other formal organizations. Rather than pursue specific goals through orchestrated actions by existing organizations, transnational networks often seek personal and community empowerment, consciousness raising, and changes in the norms and behaviors of target institutions (such as MNCs, the IMF or, indeed, unions). Networks create opportunities for transnational exchanges of workers and community members in pursuit of better mutual understanding and empathy. These exchanges may have the effect of altering aspirations and goals as members come to articulate their different agendas into a complementary (albeit loosely defined) whole. Rather than channel member participation into a narrow range of official actions, networks generate a multiplicity of strategies.

What are we to make of this possible future for labour? These initiatives mark important steps of solidarity, and their success would bring about a welcome reversal of the shift in power from labour to capital. It might be expected to induce greater benefits from trade, greater income equality, and a better transnational understanding within these labour movements. These are altogether eminently worthy goals.

But a qualification is in order. As articulated by many of its proponents, this model continues the commodity-producing nature of U.S. unionism. This places severe obstacles in the path of those who would restore the social movement aspect of unionism--including those who seek the formation of enduring coalitions and extra-coalition networks. This is because the model forestalls but does not resolve the fundamental identity crisis examined above. The contradiction attending the commodity-producing union is easy to overlook during periods of mass mobilization in pursuit of union organization--indeed, it must be repressed at such times if the mobilization is to occur. The birth of energetic coalitions may be taken as a sign of a new openness on the part of unions, a new commitment to a broader social agenda. But the contradiction is not resolved for all that. Most importantly, this model retains the imperative that the union provide services not universally available to workers and other members of society. Who is now to be excluded? Those who cannot secure employment in organized (or effectively organizable) facilities? Those who support themselves and their families through small-scale farming? Those who migrate illegally into the U.S. in search of employment, and who therefore face tremendous obstacles in securing union representation? Against whom is the union differential to be calculated? What social protections cannot be universalized through state provision so as to ensure the need for the service union representation?5

Non-Commodity Unionism

Let us now consider a different approach which opens up a family of alternative futures for the U.S. labour movement. This approach entails a reworking of the class character of the union and consequently, the definition of union representation. In this approach, unions would take account of the fact that people identify not just (or even primarily) as workers, but that this is but one identity that defines their full subjectivity. In their everyday lives, people are also consumers, and the nature of the goods and services to which they gain access may fundamentally affect the quality of their lives. But they are also defined in terms of their citizenship (or lack thereof), and their sense of the attending rights and obligations may run to the core of their self-understanding and value. And they are also family and community members; they are marked by their race, ethnicity, their gender, and by their relationship to the natural environment. These distinct identities overlap in shaping their aspirations, needs and desires--in constituting them as human actors (cf. Laclau and Mouffe 1985; Waterman 1996). Hence, their concerns range from matters of employment to the quality of life much more broadly defined; from the quality of the physical environment, to the quality of educational opportunities and health care, to the responsiveness of government services, to the viability of the family unit, and so forth. People may identify as much (or more) as women, or as oppressed minorities, as they do as workers.

Armed with this recognition, a reconstituted union movement might come to recognize that it has a role in constructing social movements that span sites in the community, from the workplace to the household, the school and the hospital (cf. Tasini 1995; Waterman 1993). The union might set for itself the task of speaking to the full human actor, rather than hiving off and privileging one limited sphere of social existence. A reconstituted union movement might therefore seek to organize people around an institution like a corporation or the state by integrating their diverse encounters with the institution; by speaking to the multiple demands they have with respect to the institution. For example, students and teachers might be organized into the same union, to address teacher compensation to be sure, but also student-teacher ratios, the quality of and access to education, and the need of adults for continuing educational services. Critically, such unions would set for themselves the task of advancing the interests and rights of all workers--waged and non-waged--and those outside the workforce. While organization of waged workers would remain an important tactic, such organization would be in service of much broader social objectives, and much wider constituencies.

We might ask how such a reconstituted union movement would interact with other kinds of organizations? And how would it be articulated with the new domestic and transnational networks? These are difficult questions, but we might hazard the prediction that such an inclusive, non-commodity unionism would be inclined to form deeper, more resilient coalitions in pursuit of a broader range of political, social and economic objectives. Freed from the burden of protecting the union differential, the union movement might enter into organic coalitions that promote the interests of all working people and others lacking sufficient political efficacy. Moreover, such a union movement might provide an institutional home and support for all manner of networks.6 Rather than organize on the basis of the union differential, this kind of union movement would claim rightfully to provide support for diverse campaigns (formal and informal) that seek the end of exploitation, domination (based on gender, race, ethnicity, etc.), and inequality of substantive freedom. But this unionism would not displace networks. As Kidder and McGinn note, what may be needed is a combination of forms: 

Networks-based on interdependent relationships-are effective in workers' transnational organizing because they permit rapid decisionmaking, exchange of timely information, and grassroots relationship-building among participants. However, to sustain campaigns and infrastructure, transnational organizing may benefit from some centralized organizational forms that include greater accountability and a firm financial base (1995, 21). An expansive, non-commodity form of unionism might provide one means of articulating these two forms into a coherent whole that draws on the respective strengths of each.7

Tasini (1995) presents one possible approach for creating this inclusive unionism. He argues for the expansion of existing Labour Councils--the regional coalitions of local unions throughout the U.S. that direct the political campaigns of the AFL-CIO--to include "a vast array of unique and overlapping coalitions: labour, seniors, environmental, people of color, children" (38). These new constituencies would pay dues and gain full membership rights in the councils. Concomitantly, this reform would require that labour cede absolute control of the councils and face the prospect of their engaging issues and agendas far beyond those traditionally associated with organized labour.8

How might such an expansive social unionism operate differently in international affairs, such as in the wake of North American integration? First, unions would take up not just the matter of social dumping as capital relocates in pursuit of cheaper labour, but also the right of Mexican labour to migrate in search of better opportunities. Indeed, labour mobility across the U.S.-Mexican border goes to the heart of the contradiction of U.S. unionism. Historically, U.S. unions have taken a dim view of Mexican immigration because these immigrants were seen to threaten the wages of U.S. workers and to provide employers with a docile workforce. This concern is indeed valid in the context of commodity unionism. Unions have sought to preserve the union differential by excluding those who might threaten it, including workers abroad. An expansive social unionism would be inclined to take an entirely different approach. Migrant workers--both legal and illegal--would be recognized as fully-enfranchised union members with particularly daunting needs that only an inclusive union could meet. Such a union would face the difficult task of negotiating among the interests of new immigrants and native U.S. workers. We should expect that managing this tension might lead to energetic union campaigns against the development strategies imposed on Mexico by the IMF, World Bank and other multilateral agencies-just as some global networks have undertaken over the past decade. It might lead to an interrogation of the role of the U.S. government and financial interests in supporting these development models. In short, it would encourage U.S. unions to investigate what kinds of internationalist foreign policy is in the collective interests of U.S. and Mexican workers.9

Such unionism would also include as full members those concerned about the environmental effects of economic integration, such as the ecological crisis caused by the corporate activity along the Mexican-U.S. border. Self-identified environmentalists would work within expanded unions to hammer out policies that speak to the needs both of workers for employment and economic security and of their communities for clean water and air, proper sewage systems, freedom from hazardous wastes, etc. It must be emphasized that this model of unionism entails organic linkages between environmentalists and worker advocates in an organization that understands its mission is to speak to the full range of concerns that workers (and others) have, rather than external linkages of coalition between separate organizations with separate, narrow agendas. Decisions about which matters to take up and which to leave to others would be based on tactical considerations taken by representatives of a fully diverse union movement, rather than be defined in advance by simplistic rules of exclusion and by the a priori foreclosure on debate over what a union is to be.10

IV. Conclusion

Both of these alternative models entail internationalist impulses, the former in the traditional form of linkages among workers, the latter, in a deeper form of a more thorough integration of organization of citizens. The former leaves largely untouched the question of who is to be a union member, and more importantly, what a union is to be. The latter places on the agenda a difficult but potentially rewarding debate about the kinds of unionism that will be most likely to engender campaigns for social justice, and about who shall be included in a revitalized union movement. It widens substantially the range of potential union members, while promising to deepen the attachment of members to their unions. It imports into the union movement difficult debates about political agendas, principles, fairness and equality, and hence threatens all manner of difficult disagreement and ruptures. To date, the U.S. labour movement has attempted to repress these tensions by narrowly proscribing union membership and the role of unionism; but they have not gone away or been rendered inconsequential for all that. Far better, it would seem, to bring them in, where they can be expressed and negotiated in pursuit of the broader social objectives that have remained, dormant perhaps, the most valuable part of the union agenda.


1. Cf. Waterman (1996), who argues that solidarity based on "identity" (e.g., "Workers of the world unite") always entails exclusion based on "otherness."

2. This perspective on the causes of and solutions to labour's crisis has been advanced forcefully and consistently by the Detroit-based Labour Notes, an independent, activist-oriented labour newsletter. See DeMartino (1991) for a critical assessment of this perspective.

3. See Hyman (1975; 1971) for nuanced accounts of the relationship between union practice, structure, and membership orientation.

4. This argument draws directly on Kidder and McGinn's (1995) concise and useful discussion of these forms.

5. Elsewhere (DeMartino 1991) I have investigated the manner in which the emphasis by U.S. unions on collective bargaining disrupts coalitions between unions and other progressive organizations. Despite good intentions, the commodity nature of unionism obstructs the formation of the kinds of deep and enduring coalitions that many progressive activists seek to respond to economic globalization. See also Brecher (1972).

6. This model of unionism is compatible with the model of "social movement unionism" (SMU) presented by Waterman (1993). In this article Waterman explores at length the defining attributes of SMU and the differences between it and the classical socialist model of unionism.

7. Many observers have identified the fragility of networks and coalitions. In Drainville's words, "the instant political communities formed to protect jobs, union rights, cheap medication, land reform or abortion rights are little more than sacked potatoes that scatter as soon as the immediate menaces holding them together temporarily recede" (1995, 226). The model presented here might provide the institutional epoxy necessary to sustain and strengthen these kinds of mobilizations.

8. Tasini discusses the "Workers' Justice Centers" of UNITE, the new textile and garment workers' union, as an example of this kind of initiative (1995, 39-40).

9. DeMartino and Cullenberg (1994) investigate the kinds of internationalist global policy regimes that an expansive social unionism might seek.

10. We should not presume that the simple act of opening up union membership would lead to easy resolution of the kinds of conflicts that often arise between separate movements, such as the women's and labour movements. What the proposal seeks is to create space for and an expectation of the articulation of the alternative political and social agendas that different constituencies embrace--a process that might alter the identities and aspirations of each. More prosaically, this inclusive model would encourage give and take among these diverse constituencies (cf. Tasini 1995).


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