Organizing a Global Labor Movement from Top and Bottom

  • Bradley Nash Jr. Appalachian State University


While the prospects for a global labor movement are ripe, working people and their supporters may fail to take full advantage of this historical opening. A potential barrier is the existence of a strategic myopia when it comes to the role of preexisting labor organizations at the national and international levels. Specifically, these higher-tier institutions are often viewed by labor activists and the rank-and-file as inherently autocratic and imperialistic, and are thus deemed to have little value for efforts at fostering global labor solidarity. A consequence is that many in the labor movement concentrate their energies solely at a local or community level, with the idea that it is only here that true progressive change can result. In terms of broader solidarity and resistance, it is felt that cross-regional and cross-national linkages will eventually develop to expand the struggle to a truly global level. In effect, it is presumed by many that a global labor movement will, and in fact must, be built strictly from the "bottom-up" ( e.g. Brecher and Costello, 1994).
How to Cite
Nash Jr. , B. (1998). Organizing a Global Labor Movement from Top and Bottom. Journal of World-Systems Research, 4(1), 6.
Global Labor Movements