Time to scale up cooperation? Trade unions, NGOs, and the international anti-sweatshop movement

Between 1991 and 2002, the international anti-sweatshop movement experienced significant growth. A series of interconnecting international networks developed, involving trade unions and NGOs in campaigns to persuade particular transnational corporations (TNCs) to ensure that labour rights are respected in the production of their goods. While the loose, networked form of organisation that characterises the movement has helped it to grow and progress despite its diverse constituency, arguably a lack of coordination has undermined its ability to achieve policy change. There is a need to develop new forms of global cooperation in order to avoid fractures within the movement and the loss of impetus.