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Solidarity Transformed: Labor Responses to Globalization and Crisis in Latin America (Hardback)
  • Solidarity Transformed: Labor Responses to Globalization and Crisis in Latin America (Hardback)

Solidarity Transformed: Labor Responses to Globalization and Crisis in Latin America (Hardback)

Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 25/03/2011
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Mark S. Anner spent ten years working with labor unions in Latin America and returned to conduct eighteen months of field research: he found himself in the middle of violent raids, was detained and interrogated in a Salvadoran basement prison cell, and survived a bombing in a union cafeteria. This experience as a participant observer informs and enlivens Solidarity Transformed, an illustrative, nuanced, and insightful account of how labor unions in Latin America are developing new strategies to defend the interests of the workers they represent in dynamic global and local contexts. Anner combines in-depth case studies of the auto and apparel industries in El Salvador, Honduras, Brazil, and Argentina with survey analysis. Altogether, he documents approximately seventy labor campaigns-both successful and failed-over a period of twenty years.

Anner finds that four labor strategies have dominated labor campaigns in recent years: transnational activist campaigns; transnational labor networks; radical flank mechanisms; and microcorporatist worker-employer pacts. The choice of which strategy to pursue is shaped by the structure of global supply chains, access to the domestic political process, and labor identities. Anner's multifaceted approach is both rich in anecdote and supported by quantitative research. The result is a book in which labor activists find new and creative ways to support their members and protect their organizations in the midst of political change, global restructuring, and economic crises.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801449598
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 283 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


"Anner's book is an informative, rich analysis of labor movements, successful and unsuccessful, in Latin America. . . . Anner carefully combines theory and case-study analysis to reveal what techniques were successful or not in the context of each industry and country. . . . His years of primary fieldwork and in-country experiences add richness to the analysis . . . [and] his conclusions are generalizable beyond Latin America and the industries examined. . . . Highly recommended."-Choice (November 2011)

"Anner's theoretical contributions [to the literature on labor solidarity] alone would be enough to recommend the book, but what makes Solidarity Transformed a truly unique work are Anner's personal experiences as an international trade union activist, primarily in El Salvador in the 1980s and 1990s. . . . His role as a participant-observer gives the book a level of urgency and engagement rarely seen in scholarly works."-Chad Gray, ILR Review (October 2011)

"Solidarity Transformed is one of the first studies of labor politics in less developed countries that systematically incorporates the transnational dimension. Anner has done a tremendous amount of fieldwork, and this comes across in his intimate knowledge not only of particular countries but also of firms and unions. The book also serves to chart an agenda for future scholars of labor and other social movements. . . . It is a major contribution to the literature on labor politics, globalization and state-society relations. The book deserves to be widely read."-Jose A. Aleman, British Journal of Industrial Relations (September 2012)

"The book adds to a body of literature . . . that explores new strategies for organized labour within the context of a global economy often hostile to union organization. . . . He admirably demonstrates the costs of persistent division within organized labour, long-standing political schisms having been exacerbated by the segmentation initiated by transnational production regimes."-George Lafferty, Work, Employment & Society (2013)

"Why have Latin American labor unions had such a tough time as their countries have returned to democratic rule? We understand why labor unions struggled under authoritarian rule, but why haven't we seen a great surge in labor organizing as the repression stopped and the political system opened up? Mark S. Anner provides a compelling and provocative answer to this important question by looking at what unions-both left and conservative-have done in the recent past, how these strategies are different from earlier ones, how they have worked and not worked, and how they have brought together new allies. It's a crucial contribution to our understanding of contemporary Latin America."-Steve Striffler, Professor and Doris Zemurray Stone Chair in Latin American Studies, University of New Orleans

"Over the past two decades, labor activists and scholars have often bemoaned the way globalization has weakened traditional labor unions. In this careful (but very readable) comparative study of labor campaigns in both apparel and auto production across Latin America, prominent labor strategist Mark Anner details some of the responses of labor activists. Paying close attention to variation in corporate structure, national institutions, and activists' ideologies, Anner offers important new insights into the way rapidly changing global production patterns can create new opportunities, as well as new challenges, for labor solidarity. Solidarity Transformed is an important contribution; this book is a must-read for anyone interested in debates about labor in a rapidly changing world."-Gay Seidman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Solidarity Transformed is well written, enlightening, and offers a fresh insight on how labor responds to challenges. I am particularly impressed by Mark S. Anner's personal history in Central America and the fact that he is an engaged scholar who deeply cares about the labor movement. This is a must-read book for labor scholars with a focus on Latin America."-Carolina Bank Munoz, Brooklyn College, author of Transnational Tortillas

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