Unattainable paradise: American Labors global activities and the petroleum workers during the cold war eraReportar como inadecuado

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(2014)Labor Politics in the Oil Industry : New Historical Perspectives, Proceedings. Mark abstract One of the most remarkable pieces of history of the postwar international Labour movement concerns the International Federation of Petroleum and Chemical Workers (IFPCW). It was the only American-based International Trade Secretariat(ITS) which became very active on a global scale during its short-lived existence (1954-1975). This contribution attempts to address a series of issues raised in a recent study on the history of the IFPCW on the basis of additional research of primary sources. Research so far has been limited to the IFPCW archive itself. These issues include the relationship between IFPCW and the AFL/CIO international department, the work of various CIA ‘front agencies’ within the framework of the international and American labor movement, the discussions about the organization of petroleum workers within the ICFTU, the development of labour standards for the oil industry by the ILO, and the manipulation of the ILO by both the WFTU and IFPCW while they were scrambling for influence in the oil-producing countries. Recent research on the global activities of the American trade union movement (AFL/CIO) has been conducted mainly from a geographical perspective. The example of the petrol industry and the IFPCW gives us the opportunity to adopt an industrial/sectoral approach, which easily allows to bring a transnational and global perspective to this topic. This shift in focus also offers the opportunity to explore another key issue which puzzles labour historians, i.e. the waning influence of labour internationally – an unmistakable fact - from the mid-seventies onwards. The latter were vital to western industrial nations in the short twentieth century. Trade unions, by exerting control over the workforce, were important partners in shaping domestic and foreign policy. From the mid-seventies onwards, this has changed. Détente, increasing globalization and decolonization processes became the breeding ground for neo-liberal economic policies and this resulted in the workers movement being sidelined both culturally and politically. The example of the oil industry includes all these elements and therefore very well serves the purpose of exploring the issues mentioned above.

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication: http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-5738033

Autor: Geert Van Goethem

Fuente: https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/5738033


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