The globalisation of the world economy, as it has developed over the past thirty years, is creating a globally integrated borderless economy where finance capital and transnational corporate power increasingly dictate their terms to national governments and parliaments, political parties and national trade union organizations. In effect, dominating all instruments of democratic control that function at national level.
Confronted with this, the labour movement must learn to play by new rules – not those of the nation-state. It has to marshal all its resources, to focus on a single, overriding goal: to tilt the global power balance in its favour.
The GLI is a facilitator and a catalyst in this process. Its close connections with the international labour movement, as well as its independent position, enables it to help connect what is disconnected, to help unite what is disunited, to help organize what is disorganized.
Trade unionists throughout the world are organising to defend workers’ livelihoods and rights against unprecedented attack, in the context of economic, ecological and political crisis. There are some causes for optimism: a new international agenda for strong industrial organisation, evidence of increasing corporate vulnerability to well-organised and targeted campaigns, and a new generation of activists emerging from unions and movements for democracy and climate justice.
Yet there is a political vacuum. Union members want an international political alternative to neo-liberalism and corporate capitalism, but little emerges beyond rhetoric. Many of the formal institutions of the international labour movement have retreated into a bland, lowest common denominator of politics, shy of even basic principles of social democracy, let alone any mention of democratic socialism. But this is precisely the time when radical political solutions – and a new sense of political direction for the international trade union movement – are needed.
The GLI Network encourages and supports education, research, publishing and debate on international trade union politics with an extensive network of union leaders, activists and organisations, as well as supportive academic researchers and writers.
The GLI Network is an alliance of organisations promoting international solidarity among trade union organizations and other organizations and movements of civil society. These share the objective of achieving a democratic and sustainableworld society, based on the principles of social justice, freedom and the rule of law. GLI Network members are service organizations to the labour movement, guided by the values and principles of democratic socialism.
The members of the GLI Network are currently GLI Geneva, GLI Manchester, the Praxis Center (GLI Moscow), ReAct (GLI Paris), the CUNY School of Labour and Urban Studies (GLI New York), and GLI Bogotá. We also have close links with unions, international union federations and labour movement NGOs throughout the world. Each network member is independent and autonomous, but we work together cooperatively, coordinated by the GLI Network Board, generally meeting twice a year.
The founding statement of GLI Geneva, which serves as the mission statement of the network as a whole, can be found here.