1919 and the Century of Labour Internationalisation
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This edited collection is a global history of workers’ organisations since 1919, the year when the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Comintern and the International Federation of Trade Unions were formed. This historical moment represents a caesura in labour history as it epitomises the beginning of what the editors and the contributors in this book call the internationalisation of the labour question. The case studies in this centenary volume analyse the relationship between global workers’ organisations and the new ideological confrontation between liberal capitalism, socialism and communism since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Workers’ organisations, trade unions in particular, grew in importance and managed to organise internationally, forming alliances cemented by ideology and sustained by international institutional bodies or centrals. In the nascent capitalist versus communist struggle, trade unions thrived. Is it mere coincidence that today’s decline of unionism coincides with the end of ideological antagonism? This book emphasises important global labour issues such as gender as well as international workers’ histories from Latin America, Asia and Africa.
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