What Role Can Trade Union Education Play in Enhancing Transnational Labour Solidarity?

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Title: What Role Can Trade Union Education Play in Enhancing Transnational Labour Solidarity?
Authors: Föhrer, Bianca
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9213
Date: Aug-2015
Abstract: Trade union education is considered ‘a key resource for the construction of trade unionism’ (Bridgford and Stirling 2000: 5), or ‘the key to trade union capacity building’ (International Labour Organization 2007). Shelley (2007) and Spencer (2007) argue that trade union education can support union activism. Indeed, there is much empirical evidence where education played a vital role in forging successful cross-border solidarity action (e.g., Croucher 2004; Erne 2008; Novelli 2011). Despite the obvious importance of specialized education for workers’ representatives, research on trade union education has remained sparse (Ball 2003; Miller and Stirling 1998; Stirling 2007), not only in Europe, but also worldwide (Croucher and Cotton 2009). The purpose of this chapter is to address this gap. It proposes that educational activities can enhance transnational labour solidarity by creating five spaces: (1) space of encounter, (2) space of exchange, (3) space of insight, and (4) space of action. Together, they can form a further (5) space of development as a person as well as a group. The chapter argues furthermore that transnational labour solidarity requires educational activities that develop, besides knowledge and skills, appropriate attitudes. Crucial for creating attitudes is identity. The critical case study of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) EWC training shows that labour educational activities can develop both personal and collective transnational identity. Social identity building has arguably fallen too short in terms of reach, though.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Copyright (published version): 2015 Rowman & Littlefield
Keywords: Trade union education;Workers' representatives
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Is part of: Bieler, A., Erne, R. Golden, D. et al. (eds.). Labour and Transnational Action in Times of Crisis
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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