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Sweatshops at SeaMerchant Seamen in the World's First Globalized Industry, from 1812 to the Present$
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Leon Fink

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834503

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877807_fink

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Workers of the Sea, Unite?: The Internationalist Legacy of the Pre–World War I Years

Workers of the Sea, Unite?: The Internationalist Legacy of the Pre–World War I Years

(p.117) 5 Workers of the Sea, Unite?: The Internationalist Legacy of the Pre–World War I Years
Sweatshops at Sea

Leon Fink

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the American Prospect's savvy editor-at-large, Harold Meyerson. Meyerson noted with approval that within the umbrella of the recently formed Union Network International, a new alliance of service sector unions had determined to coordinate organizing campaigns of janitors and security guards across India, Poland, Holland, Germany, South Africa, and the United States. “As recently as two years ago,” exulted Meyerson, “it was unlikely that any labor-force futurologist would have predicted that the first de facto global union would consist of the people who guard and clean office buildings and factories.” Focusing on U.S. participation in the new alliance, Meyerson credited a changeover at the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) in 1995 when a newly elected president John Sweeney “shifted the focus of the federation's international department from fighting the Cold War . . . to winning global support for unions involved in strike actions here, and attempting to create a global trade order that didn't function solely for the benefit of corporations and investors.”

Keywords:   American Prospect, Harold Meyerson, Union Network International, service sector unions, global union

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