Trade Unions in Transformation

Stories of Successful Labour Struggles

Around the world, many Trade Unions have achieved remarkable successes in representing workers’ interests. Some are still in phases of struggle, others are already consolidated and have gained enough strength to now embark on new campaigns.

In collaboration with its partners, the FES Global Trade Union Project has collected more than two dozen case studies from around the world. With this project, we offer spaces for exchange and learning among trade unions and inspiration for new strategic action.

As a conceptual framework, all case studies use the Power Resources Approach. The following short video provides a short introduction into the Four Power Resources.

The following short video gives an introduction into the Four Power Resources:

>>> English / French / Arabic / Spanish

Sindicatos en transformación-Special edition of the Nueva Sociedad: You will find some of the short stories (Spanish) >>> on their website


Please find below short versions as well as full papers of the case studies in several languages.

Short Versions

Long Version

Kenya

Kenya’s private guards gain security through union organising
> English version
> French version

The Case of Kenya National Private Security Workers’ Union (English),
by Jacob Omolo

Nigeria

Can union organising help save Nigeria’s textile industry?
> English version
> French version

A Study of the National Union of Textile Workers of Nigeria (English)
by Ismail Bello

Uganda

In Uganda, unions are helping to drive transport workers into decent work
> English version
> French version

Transforming transport unions through mass organisation of informal workers in Uganda (English),
by John Mwanika and Dave Spooner

South Africa

After a difficult liberation, South Africa’s largest trade union ponders the future
> English version
> Spanish version

An assessment of NUMSA's attempt to develop its political and organisational independence (English),
by Miriam di Paola

South Africa

South Africa’s largest union tackles threat of globalization to workers’ rights
> English version
> Spanish version

NUMSA’s Expanded Scope (English)
by Chere Monaisa

Korea

Rebuilding Workers’ Power beyond Corporate Boundaries
> English version

Rebuilding Workers’ Power beyond Corporate Boundaries in South Korea (English),
by Aelim Yun

Indonesia

Promising Potential, Badly Managed
> English version

Trade union movement and democracy in Indonesia: 2010, 2014, and beyond (English),
by Surya Tjandra

Southeast Asia

A Soft Approach: How Unionists Paved an “ASEAN Way” to Success
> English version
> Spanish version

Institutionalizing Labour’s Voice in ASEAN:
The ASETUC Initiative
(English),
by Melisa R. Serrano

India

Street Vendors in India: From Invisibility to Centre Stage
> English version

Towards a better deal for street vendors in India: the case of NASVI (English),
by Arbind Singh and Sachin Kumar

Malaysia

Embarking on a Long, Bumpy Road to Success
> English version

Organizing Migrant Domestic Workers (English),
by Verna Dinah Q. Viajar

Vietnam

Forced Into a Complicated Transition
> English version
> Spanish version

Enhancing and mobilizing structural and organisational power to better protect the rights and interests of workers in Vietnam (English),
by Dong Xuan Hieu, Pham Tuan Phuc and Erwin Schweisshelm

Russia

Russian automotive unions score gains despite massive challenges
> English version
> French version

Alternative trade unions challenging transnational automotive companies (English),
by Sarah Hinz

Turkey

Beating multinationals in Turkey: success through solidarity and international support
> English version
> French version

Union Organizing in a Formidable Context: The Case of TÜMTIS (English),
by Alpkan Birelma

Czech Republic

 

An End to Cheap Labour - a Public Campaign May Become the Turning Point for Czech Unions' Strength
by Martin Myant and Jan Drahokoupil

USA

UAW and IG Metall: supporting workers’ rights from Bavaria to Tennessee
> English version
> French version

Transnationalizing Unions: the UAW and the IG Metall (English),
by Michael Fichter

Latin America

Latin American unions take the fight against inequality to the international level
> Spanish Version

New Horizons for the Hemispheric Trade Union Movement: TUCA
by Cecilia Anigstein
> English Version
>Spanish Version

Argentina

Organising and innovating – the winning strategy of Argentina’s pharmaceutical trade union
> English version
> Spanish version
> French version

La lucha sindical frente a los desafíos del capital transnacional. El sindicato de visitadores médicos y los retos actuales (Spanish),
by Bruno Dobrusin

Honduras

Sindicato docente lucha por mantener sus derechos a través de una reforma sindical
> English version
> Spanish version

Desarrollo y uso de los recursos de poder, experiencia de éxito en el fortalecimiento de las luchas sociales y reivindicativas de los derechos laborales (Spanish)
by Fanny Erazo

Central America

Weaving a union network around the garment sector – An example from Central America
> English version

Building power in global networks: the International Union League; by Gilberto García Dueñas and Karla Molina Montalvo
> English version> Spanish Version

Brazil

La Central Única de Trabajadores de Brasil, un sindicato a la vanguardia de la lucha feminista
> Spanish version
> French version

Building trade union power with gender equality / CUT Brazil; by Didice Godinho Delgado
> English version> Spanish Version

Chile

The rookie union that took on the coffee behemoth and won: the case of Starbucks Chile
> English version
> Spanish version
> French version

Recursos de poder en el Sindicato de Trabajadores de Starbucks (Spanish)
by Felipe Labra

Brazil

Are major sports events opportunities for innovative trade union action?
> English version
> French version

Decent Work Campaigns Towards and Beyond Mega Sporting Events
by Maurício Rombaldi
> English Version
>Portuguese Version

Uruguay

The fall and rise of Uruguay’s trade unions
> Spanish version
> English version

Uruguay: Building trade union power
by Álvaro Padrón and Achim Wachendorfer
> English Version
>Spanish Version

Brazil

El mayor sindicato de América Latina vuelve a la calle
> Spanish version
> French version

The CUT’s Experience During the Workers’ Party’s (PT) Governments in Brazil (2003-2016)
by José Dari Krein and Hugo Dias
> English Version
>Spanish Version

Latin America

United Aviation Workers Land a Victory
> English version

The Power of Aviation Unions in South America:
The ITF LATAM Union Network
by Teresa Conrow and Dina Feller
> English Version

Tunisia

When unions make history: the UGTT’s role in Tunisia’s transition to democracy
> English version
> Spanish version
> French version

Trade union power and democratic transition in Tunisia - The UGTT
by Sami Adouani and Saïd Ben Sedrine
> English Version
>French Version