Two trends stand out in a survey of the world scale patterning of labour unrest in the 1980s: the weakening and subsequent decline of militancy among workers in the advanced capitalist (or core) countries and the simultaneous emergence of strong and effective labour movements in numerous newly industrializing (or semi-peripheral) countries. Thus, while workers in US mass production industries have been on the defensive as companies close plants and cut real wages, a wave of worker militancy in the summer of 1987 shook the South Korean economy, and won major concessions from employers and the state. And while British mine workers were decisively defeated after a long and bitter dispute, deepening the overall crisis of the labour movement, black South African miners have, through a series of extremely disruptive strikes, become perhaps the most strategic force directly and indirectly challenging the apartheid structure. Poland, Brazil, Spain and other examples would only further illustrate the point: that is, by the 1980s the centre of gravity of world labour unrest had shifted from its historical epicentre — the core countries — to the semi-periphery of the world economy.
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- World-Scale Patterns of Labour—Capital Conflict
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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