[JOURNAL SPECIAL] “Assessing the Politics of Organized Labour in Asia, Africa and Latin America at the Start of the 21st Century” (Devan Pillay and Lucien van der Walt, eds., 2011)

Devan Pillay and Lucien van der Walt (eds.), 2011, Assessing the Politics of Organized Labour in Asia, Africa and Latin America at the Start of the 21st Century, special issue of Labour, Capital and Society, volume 44, number 2

Description

This special edition, which draws together studies of workers’ struggles in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia and South Africa, provides the basis for an assessment of the politics of organized labour at the start of the 21st century. The papers in this collection are drawn from a highly successful September 2011 Global Labour University conference on “The Politics of Labour and Development”, held in Johannesburg, South Africa. On the basis of the studies, we argue for the importance of unions, despite their contradictions, as an irreplaceable force for progressive social change for the popular classes. Post-colonial ruling classes have been active authors of the neoliberal agenda, at the expense of the working class. The current context affirms the centrality of unions, and of organized workers more generally as it is union struggles – and alliances with other sectors of the popular classes – that make the Standard Employment Relationship possible. The more the fracturing of the popular classes is challenged by linking unions to other popular class forces, the more successful such struggles become.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Introduction / Introduction de la rédactrice (Suzanne Dansereau)

1. Contributing Editor’s Introduction to the Special Issue: Assessing the Politics of Organized Labour in Asia, Africa and Latin America at the Start of the 21st Century (Devan Pillay and Lucien Van Der Walt)

2. The Influence of Organized Labour in the Rise to Power of Lula in Brazil and Correa in Ecuador (Daniel Hawkins)

3. The Enduring Embrace: COSATU and the Tripartite Alliance during the Zuma era (Devan Pillay)

4. ‘World Class Cities for All’: Street traders as agents of union revitalization in contemporary South Africa (Ercüment Çelik)

5. Making Labour Voices Heard During an Industrial Crisis: Workers’ struggles in the Bangladesh garment industry (Pragya Khanna)

6. Informal Labour in India and Indonesia: Surmounting organizing barriers (John Folkerth and Tonia Warnecke)

7. The ‘Harmonious Society’ as a Hegemonic Project: Labour conflicts and changing labour policies in China (Elaine Sio-Ieng Hui and Chris King-Chi Chan)

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