IV Global Labour University Conference, 28-29 April 2008, Unicamp, Brazil

The Global Labour University will hold an International Workshop at Unicamp in Campinas, Brazil from 28-29 April 2008.

 

WHAT LADDER? WHAT TREE?

 

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: CHALLENGES FOR UNION STRATEGIES

 

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Workshop background

The world has undergone profound changes in the last quarter of a century

 

• changes in international trade and investment regimes;

• changes in the institutions that regulate capital accumulation and income distribution at national levels;

• redefinitions of the boundaries between public and private space in the economy;

• growing influence of finance over production and service provision as sources of wealth.

 

As a consequence of those changes, economic growth has been accompanied by increasing inequality and insecurity for vast numbers of people both in rich and in poor countries. At the same time, imbalances between national economies and among regions within national economies have become more acute. Current trade and investment regimes backed by industrialised countries seem to severely restrain the ability of national policies that could help developing countries to “climb the tree” towards better economic and social conditions. To complete the picture, current growth patterns seem to result in unsustainable demands over natural resources. Not surprisingly, there is a growing feeling in developing countries about the urgency of a new development agenda. Unions must face the challenge of defining strategies to help build and advance such agenda.

The Global Labour University is a network of trade unions and universities that aims at facilitating research, debate and qualification programmes in order to address global labour issues. At its annual workshop in 2008 trade unionists and scholars are invited to present papers and discuss the challenges for organised labour as outlined in the two lead questions:

 

• Union strategies in the new international division of labour

• Towards socially and environmentally sustainable development: strategies for labour