Southern Unionism and the New Labour Internationalism

Robert Lambert, E. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The paper traces the genesis of SIGTUR, a new network/organization of southern unions that has been built over the past decade, which brings together democratic unions from Latin America, Southern Africa, Asia and Australasia. The impact of neoliberal globalisation has spurred this action, and Australian unions-with their rich tradition of labour internationalism-have been at the forefront. The paper shows how the initial hostility of the established trade union internationals has been transformed into strategic alliances as the internationals have come to value SIGTUR's campaign orientation. The paper argues that SIGTUR has continued to expand because of its strong emphasis on internal democracy. The new southern alliance is one instance of a search for a new form of unionism-global social movement unionism-that may offer greater scope for a more effective resistance to the logic of globalisation. In the new millennium, this search is critical if unions are to rekindle the vision and the confidence that drove the early movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-362
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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