New labor movements are currently emerging across the Global South. This is happening in countries as disparate as China, Egypt, and Iran. New developments are taking place within labor movements in places such as Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan and Venezuela. Activists and leaders in these labor movements are seeking information from workers and unions around the world.
However, many labor activists today know little or nothing about the last period of intense efforts to build international labor solidarity, the years 1978-2007. One of the key labor movements of this period, and which continues today, is the KMU Labor Center of the Philippines. It is this author’s contention that there is a lot unknown about the KMU that would help advance global labor solidarity today.
This paper focuses specifically on the KMU’s development, and shares five things that have emerged from this author’s study of the KMU: a new type of trade unionism, new union organizations, an emphasis on rank and file education, building relations with sectoral organizations, and the need to build international labor solidarity.