Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations in the Commonwealth Caribbean: History, Contemporary Practice, and Prospect

Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations in the Commonwealth Caribbean: History, Contemporary Practice, and Prospect

Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations in the Commonwealth Caribbean: History, Contemporary Practice, and Prospect

Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations in the Commonwealth Caribbean: History, Contemporary Practice, and Prospect

Synopsis

This study analyzes the critical factors that have shaped the character of trade unionism in the Commonwealth Caribbean, as well as the major challenges that currently confront trade union practice. Particular emphasis is placed on the sociological foundations of labor law and the role of the state, in addition to the shape and contours of future industrial relations practice in the region. This unique analysis is placed within a theoretical framework that sheds light on the role of trade unions in a peripheral capitalist social formation.

Excerpt

The main purpose of this work is to present an analysis of some of the important factors that have influenced the development of trade unions in the Commonwealth Caribbean, critical problems and challenges facing contemporary unionism, and guidelines for trade union action in meeting these problems and challenges. In this sense, the work is both historical and problem-focussed, but developed against the background of an explanatory framework that situates trade union practice within a particular macrosociological context. That context allows us to understand the dynamo of trade union practice, as it is geared toward shaping systems of labour-process control in this part of the capitalist periphery.

The need for this volume arose for a number of reasons. Henry (1972) work on Labour Relations and Industrial Conflict in Commonwealth Caribbean Countries has become the standard text on industrial relations in the region. No single text has since been published that offers the reader an opportunity to understand and put into proper perspective the developments that have occurred in industrial relations since the 1960s. Gonsalves (1978) has attempted to capture, albeit in mimeographic form, the essence of developments up to that year. Okpaluba (1975a) and Chaudhary and Castagne (1979) have made an important contribution to the development of our understanding of industrial relations practice, but their concern . . .

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