Understanding global union repertoires of action

Michele Ford, Michael Gillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unlike national trade unions, which operate within country-specific industrial relations systems, Global Unions have an international mandate and multi-scalar positionality. As a consequence, their repertoires of action and the opportunity structures available to them differ from those of national unions. Drawing on qualitative interview data and fieldwork observations, we propose a typology of different strategic domains used by the Global Union Federations (GUFs), which identifies their characteristics, scale and constraints. We then discuss two cases that illustrate how complementary strategies of (a) engaging in incremental innovation and (b) combining repertoires from different strategic domains have supported the GUFs' desire to play a stronger role as global labour governance intermediaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-577
Number of pages19
JournalIndustrial Relations Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding global union repertoires of action'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this