About

ReinventingLabour is for people who organize, struggle, analyze, critique and strategize within and around the international labour movement. It is for people who seek a space to share ideas and resources regarding challenges and potentials to strengthen a vibrant, critical, plural and emancipatory movement of all kinds of working people everywhere – a movement intimately related to the new ‘global justice and solidarity movement’ (aka the anti- or alter-globalisation movement).

We believe it is increasingly necessary and urgent to open a worldwide dialogue on the reinvention of the labour movement. This belief comes from the growing  realization, amongst labour activists and scholars, of different traditions, that the trade union form as we know it is inadequate for  advancing – or even effectively defending –  the interests of labouring people under and against a 21st century capitalism that is globalised, computerised, aggressive – and which threatens not only working people but everything that sustains human life on this planet.

This reinvention must, thus, be done in the light of:

  • the radical and ruthless capitalist destructuring, restructuring, division and dispersing of the worldwide labour force;
  • the successful capitalist attack on traditional labour rights and organizations;
  • the demonstrated inadequacy of traditional trade unionism even in effective defence of labour;
  • the danger of a retreat, by considerable sections of the the global working classes, into racism, chauvinism, fundamentalism
  • the rise of effective labour networking globally (working women, homeworkers, the precariat, migrants, etc);
  • the increasing recognition that labour interests far exceed matters of wages and working conditions and cannot be addressed through partnership with capital and state (whether national, regional or global).

That such a reinvention is possible we know from the history of the labour movement and changes in the major form of collective labour self-organisation from the guild to the craft union, from the craft to the industrial union. Such reinventions also saw increasing scales of labour self-activity, from the local to the national, from the national to the international.

Beyond the international or global frontier lies cyberspace – an increasing area for labour networking, solidarity, exchange and educational activity.

ReinventingLabour is an initially modest attempt to facilitate discussion of the challenges facing labour, emergent forms of organization, and the potential of various kinds and forms of labour internationalisms. We begin with the following categories:

  • Current materials (research papers, articles, documents)
  • Historical documents
  • Strategy proposals
  • Online surveys
  • Bibliographies
  • Audiovisuals
  • Links to relevant sites and resources
  • And geographical area or issue pages/sections as necessary
  • Information and communication technology

Whilst starting in English, it is our hope that the site will become a multilingual resource, providing, at the very least, materials and discussions in English, French and Spanish.

What is stated above is only a preliminary statement. We invite any and all who are interested in contributing to the discussion or actively participating in the development of ReinventingLabour to contact us at

reinventinglabour@gmail.com

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