26 Lab. Stud. J. 1 (2001-2002)

handle is hein.journals/labstuj26 and id is 1 raw text is: 






Special   Issue


              Unions in the Global Economy

          Edited by Frank Emspak and Marta-Luz D.  Samper


                          Introduction

     There  are two main points expressed in this set of articles. First,
globalization is complex and challenging, requiring a conversation among
the many workers who  have had direct experience with its effects-such
as its impact on jobs, immigration, coordinated bargaining, and sweat-
shop monitoring-and  providing a constant reminder of the workers' own-
ership of the struggle. Second, there is the continuous need to work in
coalitions beyond borders.
     The  articles in this special issue attempt to illustrate the complexity
of the globalization debate and thus, by implication, the breadth of the
subjects that need to be understood so that working people can construct
a political and trade union agenda that will meet our needs.
     Indeed, the very word globalization may not be the correct term to
describe the phenomena of worldwide economic domination  by the most
powerful capitalist countries. Somehow globalization does not capture
the reality of falling living standards, attacks on trade unions, forced emi-
gration, and thus immigration, job loss, and the disruption of entire com-
munities. Nor does globalization capture the reality of huge increases in
the living standards and wealth of the top 10 percent of the world's popu-
lation.
     The  papers presented in this special issue of the Labor Studies Jour-
nal are arranged in order to take the reader from general issues to specific
analyses. We have also tried to arrange them in chronological order.
     James M.  Cypher's paper, NAFTA's Lessons: From Economic  My-
thology to Current Realities, describes the myths surrounding the so-
called free trade debate. Cypher shows that securing safety for capital and


The  original versions of these papers were presented at the UCLEA/AFL-
CIO   Education Conference, Unions  and the Global Economy:  Labor
Education at the Crossroads, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 12-15, 2000.

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