Globalization, Labour Relations Decent Work Challenges for Trade
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Globalization, Labour Relations & Decent Work: Challenges for Trade Unions Arun Kumar Globalization? Participants views… Why Globalisation? Capital needs markets…new markets for profits; for natural resources Developing countries need to grow, need capital, access to new technology, goods & services; Investors need free trade, minimum or no regulations on capital & safe guarding of their investments; Economic reforms, free trade & Globalization! Global Background (2002, in %) Share in World Income/GDP Share in World Trade Share in FDI HIC (80.5), MIC (11.5), LIC (2), China & India (6) HIC (72.9), MIC (15.6), LIC (2.7), China & India (8.7) HIC (76.6), MIC (12.5), LIC (1.1), China & India (9.8) Share in Portfolio HIC (76.6), MIC (12.5), LIC (1.1), Investments China & India (9.8) Source: ILR, 2004/1-2, Vol 143, ILO, Geneva What is Globalization Promoting? Basic thinking: Supremacy of markets, Government - a problem! One size fits all kind of policies: Open markets for trade, investment & capital flows, seek FDI rather than foreign aid, no performance requirements on FDI, cut govt deficit, privatize, deregulate & reduce role of govt in economic activities, and so on In the labour markets – employment flexibility Implications of New Policies Shift from development cooperation to free trade; Free Trade means More competition between Unequals; More freedom to Capital; Adverse impact on devt & employment – many developing countries may remain providers of natural resources & low value products; The policies that helped developed countries to develop are now considered trade distorting and hence to be done away. Effects in labour markets – on labour, trade unions and employment Changing World of Work & Management Policies Globalization means more competition more pressure to reduce costs, increase productivity Downsize, reduce regular workforce, preference for casual-contract labour, increase workloads Weaken TUs thru new HR policies such as Create a committed workforce through employee welfare measures Encourage employees to directly come to the Managers rather than go to the Union in case of problems Transfer jobs from bargainable to non-bargainable Job insecurity; Effects on Labour Deterioration of labour standards & social protection provisions; decline in social dialogue – consultations & tripartite machinery Weakening of public services (transport, health care systems, basic education, etc as public expenditure & role of Govt in these sectors declines); Growing informal economy – rural-urban migration as agriculture becomes non-viable for small farmers – casual insecure jobs in urban areas with no social protection; Size of the unprotected work force For example (in 2005): Bangladesh: 78% of total employment (37.2 m) India: 92% of total employment (362 m) – (almost 46% of employment in the organized sector is informal) Nepal (98/99 data): 73% of all employment Pakistan: abt 73% of non-agricultural employment (20 m) Sri Lanka: about 62% of the total employment (4.4 m) Indonesia: over 78% Philippines: over 71% Note: Rough estimates, collated from different sources Effects on Trade Unions Participants experiences Trade Union Densities (in %) Country Sweden Belgium UK France Italy USA Japan 2004 79-81 56 29-31 8-10 33-35 12-13 19.7% Source: SAK, quoting OECD Employment Outlook, July 2004, 30/11/2006 Trade Union Densities (in %) Asia-pacific Country China 2002 17-18 Korea Malaysia Philippines Singapore India Pakistan Sri Lanka Source: Labour & Social Trends in Asia-Pacific, 2006 - ILO 6-7 7-8 11-12 18-19 1.6 (2000) 0.6 (2000) 7.5 So, what are TUs saying? Answer does not lie in Protectionism Justice, Equity & Democracy in the new global order; Role of State & public regulation of business and international trade; Review Free Trade – to re-focus on the objectives of Devt, Employment & Poverty reduction – multilateralism rather than bilateralism. promotion of Decent Work; Respect for basic International Labour Standards for Representation & Participation of TUs ILO’s Response – Decent Work For All! All those who work, have rights at work! What is Decent Work? Work that is productive, gives fair income, security in the workplace & social protection for the family, equal opportunities & treatment, better prospects for - personal devt & social integration, freedom to organize & participate in decision making How is DW to be achieved? Creating productive jobs – thru sustainable economic & social devt; Guaranteeing fundamental rights at work to all workers; Providing basic social protection for all – a minimum protection against low or declining living standards; Promoting social dialogue for policy formulation & conflict resolution; Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) • Freedom of association & recognition of the right to collective bargaining • No forced/compulsory labour • No child labour • Elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation …. a global social floor TUs support Decent Work TUs support the integrated approach of ILO to address the social impacts of globalization; Because the concept of Decent Work • Focuses on core rights, addresses all workers, in all economic sectors (formal, informal); • Is participatory, promotes Social Dialogue & seeks to involve all social partners • Is Dynamic – progresses as the economy changes & includes promotion of FoA & Coll. Barg. rights 7 Oct 2008 World Day for Decent Work Ending Poverty and Inequality Trade Union responses to the challenges posed by Globalization Mergers of trade unions – GUFs(EI, BWI, IAEA, ICEM, IFJ, IMF, ITF, ITGLWF, IUF, PSI, UNI); ITUC – merger of ICFTU, WCL & some other unions – on 1 Nov 2006, Vienna; ITUC represents 311 affiliated national trade union centers of 155 countries & territories representing some 168 million members. 4 new regional organizations (in Africa, Asia, Latin America, & Europe/Central Asia) have also been created Trade Union Responses Core Labor Standards (CLS) campaign aimed at financial IFC, World Bank, IMF, WTO, EU and other multilateral institutions; Development cooperation programs to strengthen worker/union rights & organizing activities (initiatives in informal sector, including for migrants); International Framework Agreements to promote MNCs’ commitment to basic labor conditions, including workers’ right to organize & bargain collectively (55 agreements in place covering approx. 5 million workers worldwide) Build alliances with other social partners on mutually agreed agenda Participants views on national responses? Challenges for the international trade union movement How to ensure workers’ rights in global economy? How to influence employment policies? How to balance demands for increased employment flexibility with workers rights to social protection? How to organize in globalizing economy and in new work place environment (given employment flexibility, informal economy and increasing mobility of capital)? Negotiating Change… What do Employers want? What is important to TUs? While the ends may remain the same, the means can change? Negotiating change at national level … Ensure Right to Organize Collective Bargaining! & Right to Prevent further divisions of workers in the labour market –put all workers in one boat. Set nationwide floor labour standards –that apply to all workers & employers (de-link labour standards from permanency of employment); Roof to be attained thru Collective Bargaining – the right to which should be ensured. Negotiating Change… What is the floor that employers should respect? Freedom of Association –the right to form unions, the right to recognition Right to Collective Bargaining Basic social security contribution Access to skills training No discrimination, No child labour Why Labour Standards? Labour Standards are not just a question of workers rights BUT are also means to promote sustainable economic growth! Labour standards create conditions for growth of domestic markets since they enable sharing in gains of growth & spread of purchasing powers – this makes domestic economic growth more sustainable. Getting back to basics Trade unions must strengthen their organizing and bargaining power. HOW? Challenge 1: Creating an “Enabling Environment” for Trade Union Activities Challenge 2: Building Capacity of Unions in Organizing and Collective Bargaining Group Work List the major changes that have affected (positively or negatively) the employment, labour & Trade Unions. What actions has your trade union taken or can take to meet challenges of Globalization & free trade? What changes are being proposed by Govts? Employers? What are the priorities of Trade Unions in Asian region?