1972–89 — Internal Change: Expansion and Uneasy Integration

  • George Myconos
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Our study of labour’s globalizing tendencies recommences with a review of the network’s organizational dimension of change during the 1972–89 period. Beginning with a survey of the horizontal organization of the network during the 1972–89 period, we look to identify changes that occurred among the peak confederations. This will be followed by an analysis of the vertical forms of organization that were evident during this time. What will emerge is a profile of a network that has gradually become more integrated within this organizational dimension. By the late 1980s there was a resolution in the struggle between those transnational confederations vying for the position of the network’s principal organ. Ultimately, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions was to emerge as the pre-eminent confederation. Of its rivals, the World Federation of Trade Unions began to slide into obscurity, while the World Confederation of Labour continued to play a relatively marginal role within the world of cross-border labour politics. On the global level this represented a further organizational integration in the network’s form. In addition to greater integration on the level of the nationally oriented confederations, we also see the growing relevance of the various industry-specific confederations, as well as the emergence of very important regional trade union bodies. The following survey of the horizontal forms of organization is the first stage of a more detailed account of the changes outlined earlier.


Trade Union Labour Organization Organizational Dimension Trade Secretariat World Confederation 
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© George Myconos 2005

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  • George Myconos

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