Learning for Solidarity: transformative journeys into global trade union activism

Coley, David (2014) Learning for Solidarity: transformative journeys into global trade union activism. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This thesis explores the intersection at which UK trade union learning meets global worker solidarity, primarily through the use of in-depth interviews with learners and learning providers. It examines the extent to which trade union learning influences and activates members to respond through solidarity to address key challenges posed by neo-liberal globalisation. Mobilisation theory is drawn upon to assist in identifying the foundational elements for global active-solidarity formation whilst transformative learning theory assists in examining any possible complementarity with trade union learning methods and approaches. Research into formal learning through trade union courses and informal learning opportunities, including overseas study visits, indicates that awareness of global labour issues is growing, as is active-solidarity, supported in large part by contemporary trade union learning provision. Nonetheless, dominant global ideologies, limited member mobilisation and continuing trade union political disunities present a challenge for transformative learning and global trade union solidarities.

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