Why developing country trade unions don’t get the support they need from development donors
Unions in the global south don’t get the support they deserve from development agencies (governments, foundations and NGOs) because they are seen as “too political, too bolshie and too difficult.”
I’m blogging from the Department for International Development (DFID) conference on the future of international development the quotation is from Dr Mike Edwards, formerly of the Ford Foundation. He doesn’t agree with the people who say that, but he was honest enough to reveal what northern funders want from civil society. They want us to be polite, grateful and compliant!
George Bernard Shaw wrote in ‘Pygmalion’ about the deserving and undeserving poor, and the concept is still common. Trade unionists often strive to portray their members as the deserving poor, but our activists probably have more than a sneaking regard for (and a lot in common with) the undeserving poor. And that certainly seems to be the way others see us!