20 Years of Global Labour University

With its Master's programme, two-month intensive programmes and online courses, the Global Labour University qualifies trade unionists from all over the world to advocate progressive economic and social policies and a fair organisation of globalisation. The University of Kassel has been involved from the very beginning.

Image: M. Barisic.
Impression of the cemebration in Berlin

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, which was celebrated at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on 30 April 2024, founding father Frank Hoffer called the GLU a unique part of the global labour movement. "It combines the movement character, which focuses on practical action, with the scientific rigour of an analysis of what is." The original idea was training trade unionists at the same level as employers and political decision-makers, Hoffer remarked. An additional dimension was added a long time ago: The GLU is a place where trade unionists learn from each other. Recognising that the trade union movement is very diverse in its different traditions, ideological directions, national contexts and practices, but united in its goal of improving workers' conditions, the GLU enables better mutual understanding. Only by knowing and respecting each other can the foundation for global and transnational trade union action be laid, whether in campaigns, in multinational companies or in the fight for safe workplaces worldwide.

Edlira Xhafa, Director of the GLU Online Academy, pointed out that “the global labour movement must create comradely spaces for difficult issues [...] to advance a progressive vision and strategies for building independent labour power. The GLU provides such a space".

In the meantime, the GLU has expanded its capacities. Beyond the classic Master's courses at 6 locations worldwide, including Kassel, further training programmes are offered. For example, the GLU's online academy offers free online courses to learn and discuss topics such as "Regulating Global Supply Chains" or "The Future is Public", while the "Global Labour Column" offers opinion pieces and the "Global Labour Journal" provides in-depth academic analysis on labour issues.