Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

The International Activities Of Trade Unions: A Sociohistorical Analysis Based On The Case Of Quebec

Document type Article
Author Collombat, Thomas
Author Gagnon, Mona-Josée
Author Avignon, Pierre
Journal Studies in Political Economy
Volume 78
Date 2006
Pages 7-40


The countersummit of the Americas, held in Quebec City in April 2001under the auspices of the Hemispheric Social Alliance (HSA) and in opposition to the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), promised to be a prelude to a new phase in how trade unions handle the issue of globalization. There was hope that trade unions would truly take charge of this issue. In terms of political organization, logistics, and the number ofactive participants, Quebec trade union organizations dominated the event....This article addresses two central questions. First, does the mobilization of Quebec trade unions against neoliberal globalization represent a break, both quantitative and qualitative, in their approach to international trade union relations? Second, what does the Quebec example tell us about the sociohistorical dynamics of international trade union relations in the Americas, and even beyond? We have attempted to investigate thoroughly how relations between trade unions have been conducted internationally before and after April 2001. For the most part, this study was undertaken at the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003, with some updates made in 2004. --From introduction