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Challenging privatisation and access to health services: the role of trade unions

Challenging privatisation and access to health services: the role of trade unions

Lethbridge, Jane ORCID: 0000-0002-0094-9967 (2008) Challenging privatisation and access to health services: the role of trade unions. In: Transnational solidarity in time of global restructuring: analysis of positive and negative factors of cooperation across borders, 6-7 Nov 2008, Nottingham, UK. (Unpublished)

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Using two case studies of trade union campaigns involved in challenging privatisation and access to health care services, which drew on transnational links and support, this paper argues that trade union relationships with civil society organisations cannot easily be formulated into a new model of working for trade unions. The first case study examines the anti-privatisation campaign in El Salvador in 2002-3, which drew on support from other trade union and civil society organisations as well as established transnational solidarity networks. The second case study looks at the joint COSASTU and Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, which is campaigning for improved access to treatment for people with HIV/AIDS. This campaign also draws support from transnational networks.

The concepts of ‘social movement unionism’ and ‘new labour internationalism’ may not provide the answer for future trade union strategies. The range of alliances and partnerships that trade unions are making, in their actions to fight neo-liberalism, do not fit securely into one model but, rather, give some insights into the ‘movement’ elements of trade unionism. These activities may sometimes create tension with collective bargaining and other institutional processes.

This has implications for trade unions and civil society organisations involved in transnational networks. More has to be understood about what underpins effective and long lasting transnational solidarity.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: [1] This paper was given at the workshop 'Transnational Solidarity in Times of Global Restructuring: An Analysis of Positive and Negative Factors of Cooperation Across Borders', which was held 6-7 November 2008, at the University of Nottingham. The workshop was organised by the Transnational Institute, which is a partner of the Public Services International Research Unit based at the University of Greenwich. [2] The paper was subsequently published in the book - Global Restructuring, Labour and the Challenges for Transnational Solidarity (2010), edited by A. Bieler and I. Lindberg, ISBN 9780415580830 (please see related record 5014).
Uncontrolled Keywords: privatisation, health services, trade unions
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
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Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 09:12

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