UAW, French Union Form Global Partnership
by James Parks
In our global economy, workers increasingly are recognizing the value of international partnerships to better balance the power of multinational corporations that operate facilities in many countries.
To create a stronger presence in the international auto industry, the UAW and the Fédération des Travailleurs de la Métallurgie (FTM-CGT) of France recently began developing a joint global strategy on organizing common employers. The two unions have agreed to share information and assist each other in their respective efforts.
Says UAW Vice President and Organizing Director Terry Thurman:
We are very pleased to work with our French brothers and sisters. There is a great deal we can learn from each other, and we need to work together to ensure that companies in our industry respect workers’ rights wherever they do business. The corporations cross national borders for their self-interest, and our unions need to do the same thing.
FTM-CGT is a federation of metalworkers’ unions, which includes the industries of shipbuilding, aircraft and rail, electrical and electronic mechanical equipment, metal, agricultural machinery, jewelry making and automobiles.
Michel Ducret, who heads FTM-CGT’s auto division, adds:
Wage earners and their labor unions have to develop strategies beyond borders to fight the adverse effects of the globalization. Our meetings with the UAW have already borne fruit by allowing a better collaboration between the wage earners of the same international auto group.
The UAW partnership with FTM-CGT is the latest example of new cooperative programs in which unions worldwide are working together to stop corporations’ attacks against workers and to build bargaining power in the United States and around the globe.
Earlier this month, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Ver.di, Germany’s largest union, officially established T-Union, the first-ever union to represent workers in the United States and Europe. The union will support T-Mobile workers seeking a voice on the job and collective bargaining rights in the United States and other countries. It also will represent German union members who work for T-Mobile in this country.
Last year, the United Steelworkers joined with Amicus, the largest manufacturing union in the United Kingdom, and the U.K.’s Transport and General Workers’ Union. They signed an agreement to move toward merger. On May 1, 2007, Amicus and the T&G joined together as one union with 2.1 million members; it is based in London and is called Unite.
Tags: UAW , FTM-CGT , United Steelworkers , Amicus , Communications Workers Of , CWA , Ver.di , T-Union , Global Economy , Union
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