Overcoming Barriers to Transnational Organizing Through Identity Work : Finnish-Estonian Trade Union Cooperation
Kall, K., Lillie, N., Sippola, M., & Mankki, L. (2019). Overcoming Barriers to Transnational Organizing Through Identity Work : Finnish-Estonian Trade Union Cooperation. Work, Employment and Society, 33 (2), 208-225. doi:10.1177/0950017017746086
Published inWork, Employment and Society
© The Author(s) 2018.
This article analyses a project by Finnish and Estonian unions to adopt ‘organizing model’ strategies through establishing the transnational ‘Baltic Organising Academy’. Initially aimed at Estonian workplaces, successful campaigns inspired Finnish unions to copy the model in Finland. This cooperation was originally motivated by labour market interdependence between the two countries, and the failure of past social-partnership oriented union strategies in Estonia. The willingness of Finnish and Estonian unions to commit resources to transnational cooperation around an ‘organizing model’ marks a dramatic departure from the unions’ previous strategies. This change was accomplished by transnational activists who have developed and raised support for the adoption of an ‘organizing model’ in the face of structural challenges and ideological opposition by some union officials. The project’s transnational organizing exemplifies one possible solution to union weakness in Eastern Europe, and underlines the importance of ‘identity work’ in building transnational trade union coalitions around organizing. ...