All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|"Green Unions in a Grey World"|
|“Green Unions in a Grey World” examines the efforts of trade unions to influence international programs of sustainable development. Labor environmentalism is one of the most important global political developments of recent years. Labor has been particularly important in pushing international institutions, especially the United Nations, to adopt pro-labor/pro-environment positions. Green unionism holds the promise of a new political synthesis that can revitalize the international left. Yet fulfilling this promise is not a simple thing. The contradictory impulses of the labor movement itself, the problems of maintaining coalitions with other progressive groups, and the powerful sway capitalist market ideas and pro-business groups hold over international bureaucracies, and the nature of international all threaten to derail this transformation. Green unionism faces an intense challenge in a world political system where workplace issues are suppressed or ignored and global institutions are designed to contain workers’ power, not enable it.
The question for this paper is fundamentally empirical: how do trade unions as institutions functioning in a global environment pursue labor’s interests within the often grey tweed world of international institutions? Do trade unions face “NGOization,” the co-optation of social movements into formal institutions divorced from everyday struggle. Has labor become more concerned with protecting its privileged relationship to global organizations than mobilizing workers and fighting for their interests? Or is ongoing participation in global institutions and compacts an effective method of improving the conditions of working people? This predicament appears in the debate within various trade union movements over endorsement and participation in instruments for achieving sustainable development, particularly in the realm of corporate social responsibility. In order to illuminate these questions, the paper presents the results of research conducted at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and in other international forums among trade unionists from around the world.