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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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Cooperation and Cash: Labor's Opportunity in a Post-Deregulatory Era

Cooperation and Cash: Labor's Opportunity in a Post-Deregulatory Era

(p.171) 7 Cooperation and Cash: Labor's Opportunity in a Post-Deregulatory Era
Sweatshops at Sea

Leon Fink

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the presence of strong trade unions in the maritime industry was all but taken for granted in the mid-1960s. Neither the unions nor their employer counterparts likely imagined that their worlds would be shaken to the core within just two decades. Yet, if the loss of union influence became a common theme of contemporary political history across Europe as well as North America, the sustained “renewal” of maritime unionism at the end of the twentieth century stood out as a dramatic exception. The players involved in this transformation, encompassing both national and international organizations spread across the globe, offered a testament to the power of transnational civil society. Moreover, that such a renewal should come at the very hands of the world economy that was otherwise shredding traditional worker protections made the latest chapter of maritime labor regulation perhaps the most surprising of all.

Keywords:   trade unions, maritime industry, union influence, contemporary political history, maritime unionism, transnational civil society

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