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This paper places current debates around migration, globalization and development within the context of labour movement perspectives. It is argued that global complexity is the main feature of development and sets a new terrain for global labour struggles in the era of globalization with migration as a key destabilizing element. Agency needs to be fore-grounded: trade unions may either embrace a social movement unionism that recognizes migrants as workers within given communities, or they could take a xenophobic turn. In current reactions to the global crisis of capitalism, trade unions which take up a transformationalist agenda have an opportunity to pose a social counter-movement alternative.
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