International Labour Solidarity in the Americas: Exploring New Research and Developments
International labour solidarity is a complicated affair. While the concept of international labour solidarity has been around since Flora Tristan developed the famous phrase, “Workers of the world, unite!” in 1843, the reality is that sometimes labour movements have carried out international labour activities in the name of solidarity that have been far from solidaristic.
The goal of this panel is to provide critical reflections based on new and emerging research on international labour solidarity across the Americas. The panel examines the significance of power relations at play, not only between workers’ organizations in the Global North and the South but also between Southern organizations. Thomas Collombat (2011) and Katherine Nastovski (2016) have each completed PhDs that examine new dimensions of international labour solidarity. Collombat explores the case of South-South solidarities in Latin America, while Nastovski examines the international labour practices of the Canadian Labour Congress and the ways these have differed from the labour imperialism of the AFL-CIO.
These approaches raise new questions and suggest room for further research. The panel also includes presentations by Kim Scipes (Purdue) and Bruno Dobrusin (CIEL-CONICET, Argentina). These presentations will complement and add to the issues raised by Collombat and Nastovski regarding the politics of international solidarity across unions in both North and South America. Panelists will present their findings to date, outline theoretical developments and discuss the relevance of their findings for building international labour solidarity today.