GLI—The tasks

The GLI will act at several levels:

History: “those who cut off their roots cannot grow”. The GLI will strengthen the identity of the labour movement and its sense of mission by rescuing labour history from oblivion and making it available to the movement as an organizing tool through all available media. It will undertake historical research and publications in partnership with ITSs and other labour organizations and will give special attention to efforts aimed at restoring the historical memory of the labour movement in countries where it has been severely repressed, such as, for example, the countries of Eastern and Central Europe and the successor states of the USSR.

Program: the beginnings for a program for a new democratic world order exist: for example, various proposals for a social clause in international trade and social charters, or for the taxation of international flows of capital. There also exists a critical analysis of the present capitalist “new world order” in the form of a number of books and articles. There does not exist, however, a coherent program with proposals that would present internally consistent alternatives at various levels (economic, social, political, cultural, ecological, etc.) representing, as a whole, a global alternative. This work remains to be done. The GLI will contribute to developing a program for an alternative society in cooperation with institutions and movements where such work is already taking place, by word or by deed. This program will emerge from discussions with a wide range of organizations and institutions not excluding the social counterparts (selected companies and employers) prepared to cooperate with the labour movement and other partners to secure a democratic and sustainable world society.

Organization: although it is clear that the present structures of the labour movement, particularly at international level, are not adequate to meet the challenges of globalization, it is far from clear in what direction they need to be changed. An effective response to globalization requires stronger, rather than weaker, international trade union organizations. The globalization of the world economy requires putting into place a global system of industrial relations, building on existing agreements between ITSs and TNCs. Within the global labour movement, the relationship of trade unions to political parties and to politics is being reconsidered. The organization of the informal sector represents a formidable challenge. The GLI will provide a forum where these issues can be studied and discussed without necessarily involving organizations in direct commitments.

Alliances: depending on the issues, the GLI will seek to facilitate alliances and networks between trade unions and potential partners in civil society, such as organizations focusing on human rights, education, women’s rights, environmental protection, social movements of the rural dispossessed and of the urban informal sector, progressive student movements, community organizations, consumers’ associations and others.