Trade union politics facing the challenges of globalising production and environmental hazards. - An interdisciplinary, comparative study.

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2008
End date: 31/12/2010
Funding: 4100000 SEK


The International Confederation of Free Trade Union and other international labour organisations aim to integrate the issues of environmental hazards and the question of the globalisation of work division with the north-south divide. However, in the everyday politics of trade unions, these issues are often experienced as contradictions: either jobs or environmental sustainability, either jobs in the north or jobs in the south. The aim of this project is to understand the ways in which trade unions in the "north" and the "south" are responding to the dual challenge of a globalising production and globalising environmental hazards. As empirical basis we choose the Metal workers' union, because it is the biggest nationally and internationally organised union, organising traditional manufacture workers as well as new workers in high-tech industries, encompassing within its ranks opposing positions towards environmental questions. We will look at the politics of the International Metalworkers Federation as well as at the politics of national unions organising workers in the Volvo group in four countries: Brazil, South Africa, India, Sweden, selected according to their different integration into the globalisation process.

External Partners

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13