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Building global solidarity with the GLU network

The Global Labour University celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014

Starting with a pilot master program for trade unionists at the University of Kassel and the Berlin School of Economics and Law in 2004, the Global Labour University (GLU) has now similar master programs on five continents: South Africa (WITS), India (TISS), Brazil (UNICAMP)United States (PennState) and Germany (Kassel University/Berlin School of Economics and Law). At its 10th anniversary the GLU can proudly point to 304 graduates from its master programs and 63 graduates from its short-term ENGAGE program. The fact that more than 75% of the graduates have stayed with the trade union movement or are working as researchers on labor issues is even more gratifying. The alumni of these programs have formed a vibrant international community of labor activists. The GLU looks forward to another 10 years of training trade unionists on relevant policy issues for the labor movement.

Statements from GLU Alumni


Some quotes from GLU Alumni

The GLU and ENGAGE have become signpost trade union education programme. The programme helped me to deepen my views on the notions of “contestations and contested terrains”- knowing that nothing is an act of charity, but a product of struggle, self-awareness and to be unafraid of, but critically think outside the box.

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The best thing about the course was building a network of international trade unionists. I now feel much more connected to the global labour movement and have a better understanding of international politics. The GLU is equipping trade unionists with the knowledge to be able to challenge the dominant neoliberal ideology and the skills and networks to be able to organise locally and globally for a fairer society.

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The Labour Policies and Globalization programme (the GLU Masters’ Programme in Germany) is especially designed for unionists to get the most knowledge in the shortest time. A really powerful breakthrough for me was an internship at IndustriALL Global Union: it connected what I’ve learnt with my union needs. One of GLU Masters’ Programme values to my mind is that it gives you “critical glasses” that you can’t get rid of once you put them on.

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I always remember the LPG year (GLU Masters’ Programme on “Labour Policies and Globalisation Programm”) as the experience which changed my life. It was the opportunity to connect the dots, to develop an analytical understanding of the challenges facing trade unions in the broader context. We learnt as much from professors as we learned from our comrades (and indeed ourselves). The spaces created by professors for discussion and reflections about our own experiences enabled us to develop and/or strengthen our critical thinking.

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The GLU made me aware of how to become a more driven trade unionist.

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Academic learning was enriched by the practical experiences of trade union participants, activists and some lecturers. Seminars complemented the learning in the classrooms. 

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The Program pushed me academically and made me more enthusiastic and also strategic about the international political landscape.

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The GLU is building a network of organic intellectuals as the springboard for a new historical bloc within the trade union movement.

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The GLU Programme, through its brilliant range of courses, has broadened my understanding and comprehension of trade unionism and its role in the agile global labour market.

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The GLU experience… will not only contribute to my personal development, but also indirectly and directly to the development of my native country… and by extension to the African continent.

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The knowledge obtained from the GLU Programme will go a long way in bringing about needed change in the labour movement.

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As a student I was exposed to not just [the] African experience of labour issues but [issues] globally.