20.04.2018

Reasserting Union Strength in Asia – Trade Unions in Transformation

Trade union power is often described as fading away under the pressures of globalized markets and closing civic spaces. A photo story from a conference with trade unions from Asia and Global Union Federations captures how unions nonetheless successfully reassert and restructure their power resources and how future challenges can be overcome.

Design: FES/Kawin Tadtiam

Globalized markets and closing civic spaces in many Asian countries make maintaining labour power increasingly difficult and put pressure on workers and trade unions. Nonetheless, unions constantly establish new ways to reassert their power resources and remain relevant, even in the rapidly changing economies in the region.

In order to shift the narrative about trade unions away from the depiction as victims of globalization and instead show that unions in fact do have power, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) has gathered remarkable trade union success stories from all over the world. 

These success stories, their underlying strategies and future challenges were the subject of a conference held in Singapore by FES, bringing together members of Global Union Federations, trade unions and research organisations from Asia for them to share their personal experiences and discuss mutual challenges. Together, participants explored how to best use their power resources, how to cross the divide between the formal and informal sectors and how to face the digital economy.

Click here to see the full photo report from the “Trade Unions in Transformation” conference capturing some of the ideas on power resources and innovative ways of trade union action that were discussed. 

Watch global union federations representatives and researchers share stories of trade unions success and of future challenges to overcome:  

For more information about the international trade union work of FES visit the official website of the FES Global Trade Union Programme.  

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