era of globalization & trade unions

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Era of Globalization & Trade Unions. Issues that need consideration of trade unions. What is Globalization? Participants views. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Era of Globalization& Trade Unions

    Issues that need consideration of trade unions

  • What is Globalization?

    Participants views

  • Phenomenon of Globalization is

    Closer integration of the countries and people of the world, brought about by enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge and (to a lesser extent) people across borders

    - Joseph Stiglitz in Globalization and its discontents, 2002.

  • Economic Globalisation constitutes integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, direct foreign investment (by corporations and MNCs), short term capital flows, international flows of workers and humanity in general and flows of technology

    - Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalisation, 2004.




  • Global Background1/5 of world population controls 80% of worlds resources 20%80%20% of the worlds population consumes 86% of goods produced 20%86%The richest 20% of the worlds population had at their disposal 86% of the world GDP while the poorest 20% had access to a mere 1% 20%GDP86% 1%------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Why Globalisation?Capital Needs Marketsnew markets for growing/profits; Also natural resourcesDeveloping countries need to grow, need capital, technology, access to new goods & services;Investors need free trade, minimum or no regulations on capital and safe guarding of their investments;Therefore economic reforms, free trade and Globalization!

  • Forces behind GlobalizationG7 Countries (reflecting Business/Financial Capital Interests) - US Treasury Dept major player IMFWorld BankWTO Estd on 1st Jan 1995 -----------------------Regional Banks like ADB and Private BankingMNCs, Global based Investment Funds, TNCs, UN Organizations, Estd after 2nd WW in 1944

  • Policies Under GlobalizationWashington Consensus the consensus between IMF, the World Bank and the US Treasury on economic policies for developing countries: Cut deficit/reduce govt expenditure, Raise taxes &/or raise interest rates, Privatize and liberalize capital markets (i.e. allow free inflow-outflow of foreign capital).Supremacy of markets, the Government - a problem! Deregulate economy, Privatise the public sector, Reduce/eliminate trade barriers, National Treatment to MNCs, Focus on FDI rather than Foreign Aid, No performance requirements on Capital, Reform labour laws to promote employment flexibility

  • New Rules of the GameOpen Economies, Free MarketsUnions need to look into GATT/WTO agreement - TRIMS, TRIPS, NAMA & the FTAs being negotiated bilaterally and multilaterallyWhose needs do these serve? DCs? LDCs?Who pays the price? Workers/Employment, Local Production Capital--------------------------------------------Answer does not lie in ProtectionismRole for the Government Need for level playing field,Role for TUs & labour standards

  • Impact of GlobalizationNegative on employment in the organized sector in both OECD and developing ctysDownward pressure on labour standardsStrain on International Labour SolidarityRestricting Democracy Impacting on TU memberships and Rights---------------------------------- Q? What are the major impacts on workers and local industry of economic policy changes in China after 1990s?

  • The World of Work and Trade Unions in the Era of Globalisation

  • Changes in the world of work Downsizing, increasing workload and insecurity of employment, preference for casual labour, Job losses, growing unemployment as local industry and areas of economic activity decline due to foreign competition,Deterioration in social protection standards (social security systems shifting from publicly funded to insurance based contributory schemes), Weakening of public transport, health care systems, primary education, and so on as public expenditure and role of Government in these sectors declines,Growth of unorganised informal sectors and unorganised labour,

  • Changes in the world of workShift in the nature of employment relations from employer-employee to client-supplier relationships,Outsourcing; reduce regular workforce [Companies now outsource production, intermediate goods from vendors, no need for inventories; recruitment, accounting, compensation, performance appraisals, marketing, etc are also outsourced to vendors and consultants]Undermining of labour standards in general, as also of tripartite and collective bargaining structures, Reduced political influence in CBAs,Weakening of trade unions also thru new HR policies[employees welfare measures, flat structures of management, encourage employees to direct their grievances to mgt rather than come thru trade union]

  • Divisions in the Labour MarketWorkforce divided, Protection under labour laws differs depending on which category a worker falls under, such as - Regular, Contract, Casual, Temporary, Muster roll, Adhoc employees, Migrant, etc.No comprehensive employer-employee relationship law that sets the basic labour standards and which applies to all the workers in the economy. ----------------------------------------Q? What category of workers in China are hard to protect under the labour law? Why?

  • So, what can trade unions do?Organise! Increased memberships will increase political and economic influence - what can TUs do to make the workers come to the unions? On labour law front - raise demands that create basic labour standards and which apply to all workers, Campaign for core ILO labour standards, particularly C 87 & 98,Build alliances with other social partners both within and outside the country - Links with world TU bodies (such as WFTU, WCL, ICFTU, GUFs), ILO, NGOs, Consumer movement role of international labour solidarity, Global Collective Bargaining (IFAs),

  • So, what can trade unions do?Influencing rules of International Trade & Investment laws thru national & International action,Using Workers Capital to promote Union Rights and other labour standardsNeed for Workers Participation in the Management & Investment Decisions of the Provident & Pension funds Labour Social Clause in the Investment PatternProvide new services to the workers for social protection, social welfare, legal aid and ???And what else can TUs do ???

  • ILOs Agenda Decent Work and the role of the ILO to enhance:Workers rights Employment Social protection Social Dialogue

    Social dimension of Globalisation and the role of the ILO in the world agenda (G8 and relationships with IMF/WB/WTO)8//

  • Group WorkHow has Globalisation affected Chinese workers and trade unions? [List the important changes that have occurred in Chinese economic and labour policies that have affected (positively & negatively) the employment and Trade Unions]What are the major factors that prevent unionisation and collective bargaining in Private Industry in China?What actions has ACFTU taken or can take to meet challenges of Globalization?What role can the International Trade Union Movement play in assisting ACFTU to meet the challenges of Globalization?


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