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New Left Review I/225, September-October 1997


Kim Moody

Towards an International Social-Movement Unionism

In the late 1990s, the structure of world capitalism has become clear. Capitalism is now global, but the world economy remains fragmented and highly uneven. [*] This is an extract from Kim Moody’s forthcoming book, Workers in a Lean World: Unions in the International Economy, Verso, London 1997. The old North-South divide has widened in terms of the incomes of the majority. The South is locked into the role of low-wage pro-vider for corporations based in the North. Corporate dominated systems of production cross this North-South boundary, producing primarily for the markets of the North. The North itself is now divided into a Triad of major economic regions, which in turn cross the North-South divide. Astride this divided world are the transnational companies (tncs) operating in each Triad region and beyond. The multilateral agreements and institutions that are said to regulate this process have been rigged to discipline governments and encourage centrifugal market forces. Together, these structures and forces sponsor a virtual race to the economic and social bottom for the workers of the world.

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