Labor Strategies for Global Recovery

paul-garver-edited by Paul Garver

The most ambitious and far-reaching strategies for recovery from capitalism’s global crisis are not coming from the sluggish and clueless “socialist” political parties grouped in the Socialist International, but from the global labor movement. Behind the May Day message of ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder lies a consensus of the global labor movement advocating an extensive program for a full-scale transformation of the global economy built on social justice.

Several recent documents are worth noting. In April the Global Union Federations, together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) set out alternative strategies for the global economy focused on decent jobs and a recovery plan based on putting the needs of the people ahead of the claims of capital. Download the entire document, Getting the World to Work: Global Union Strategies for Recovery, or its short individual chapters signed by leaders of the various Global Unions. Along with the publication is an abridged version of the London Declaration that the union leaders proposed to the G-20 London meeting in April.

Another useful document is the ITUC Report of March 2009 entitled A Recipe for Hunger: How the World is Failing on Food, which analyses the growing hunger of the world’s poorest billion people as a denial of their fundamental social and political rights in favor of governmental subservience to agribusiness interests.

Finally the Worker’s Forum of the Americas, representing unions with 50 million members in North and Latin America issued a Declaration at the April Port of Spain summit of the political leaders of the Americas that linked the economic, environmental, food and energy crises to the absence of “distributive justice.”

A century ago we might have expected leaders of the Socialist International to issue such declarations, and that they would be echoed by the socialist trade unions. Today leaders of the international labor movement project a pragmatic democratic socialist vision, but generally lack sufficient power to mobilize members of their own affiliated unions and their potential supporters to demand change in the streets.paul-garver-edited by Paul Garverpaul-garver-edited by Paul Garver

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