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In fact, the principle of ‘An Injury to One Is An Injury to All’ is most often invoked as part of an imaginative process of proto-class formation, rather than to reflect immediate material realities. When it comes to these at an international level, the ugly fact is that trade union ‘interests’ – in terms of marginal wage gains – are sometimes better served in the immediate term by making protectionist alliances with national capitalist classes or states to preserve jobs – in exchange, perhaps, for an insular approach to the rest of the world. Yet, it is clear that in the long run, workers everywhere are harmed by harm to workers anywhere, from lowering standards, increasing the size and desperation of the reserve army of labour, and emboldening states and employers to step up attacks. This tension between short- and long-term interests is a classic problem of trade-union economism – a problem that of course remains just as relevant today as it was in the past.

—p.165 Is an Injury to One an Injury to All? Some Critical Thoughts on Trade-Union Internationalism TOday (163) missing author 2 years, 6 months ago