Trade unions have always needed to develop contervailing powers to that of capital at the levels at which capital itself pulls its major levers. This came to be done reasonably well in Britain on the national stage, although Thatcherism as consolidated by New Labourism set the clock back.
But with the continuing growth of the power of capital at supranational and international levels, trade unionism now needs to expand to fresh levels. A great deal of dedicated work is already done in developing international links by numbers of individual trade unions in this country and elsewhere. The work of the International Committees of our own TUC and of similar bodies is to be supported and encouraged. There also already exists international structures such as those of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
This news, however, that British, American and German Trade Union are moving to create a 6.3 million strong international union helps to take us into the essential next stage.
I realise that it is easier and more effective to base such a structure initially on Trade Unions in developed nations. But as a sign that such a form of Trade Unionism will need to embrace deprived nations, I hope that thought will be given to drawing in at least one Trade Union Movement which speaks for those at the real hard end of developments.
My suggestion? Derek Simpson and others working nobley for this new project, could do worse than contact the General Federation of Iraqi Workers and the comrades who work with them in the Kurdistan Workers' Syndicates in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Everyone involved could be onto a winner.