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These chapters — which are the product of a transnational comparative dialogue among academics and practitioners in labour law and related legal fields, including social security, immigration, trade, and development — identify, analyse, and respond to some of the conceptual and policy challenges posed by globalization. Don't have an account? Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use for details see www. University Press Scholarship Online.

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Law & Ethics of Human Rights

Search my Subject Specializations: Classical, Early, and Medieval Plays and Playwrights: Classical, Early, and Medieval Poetry and Poets: Classical, Early, and Medieval Prose and Writers: Classical, Early, and Medieval World History: Civil War American History: Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Labour Law in an Era of Globalization: Transformative Practices and Possibilities Joanne Conaghan, Richard Michael Fischl, and Karl Klare Abstract Throughout the industrial world, the discipline of labour law has fallen into deep philosophical and policy crisis, at the same time as new theoretical approaches make it a field of considerable intellectual ferment.

More Throughout the industrial world, the discipline of labour law has fallen into deep philosophical and policy crisis, at the same time as new theoretical approaches make it a field of considerable intellectual ferment. Bibliographic Information Print publication date: Because the Republican right is much more ideologically driven in their antilabor and pro-capitalist globalization fervor, they have greatly accelerated the process of unfair trade treaties and attacks on labor rights. These differences in how the two big business parties handle trade issues was clearly visible in the elections.

Bush and the Republicans downplayed trade issues and basically called for maintaining fast track authority for trade agreements. On the other hand, on the Democratic side, several candidates in the primaries called for either ending NAFTA or reopening existing treaties to incorporate strong labor rights and environmental standards with enforcement teeth. Richard Gephardt campaigned on the idea of establishing an international minimum wage. And in the end John Kerry bowed to his labor support and called for reopening NAFTA and negotiating strong labor rights and environmental standards into all future trade agreements, a fundamental shift from his pro-globalization stance in the Senate.

Labor, War and Peace War and militarization are integral parts of capitalist globalization. And, of course, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the thrust of military might into the Mideast serve the interests of US based transnational capital — oil in the first place. This reckless use of military power is not wasted on US trading partners and on those who fight against capitalist globalization around the world.

Is Full Employment Possible in the Era of Globalization?

Others in labor are going a step further and demanding that labor adopt an independent foreign policy based on the interests of the working class, not based on the corporate agenda of the US government. In the end, capitalist globalization, backed up by a single military superpower makes the world a very dangerous place. One big conclusion drawn from this situation has to be that labor and the peace and solidarity movements are the most natural of allies. Making this connection and working to build ties with the peace movement has to be one our most important tasks.

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Global Solidarity Today there is growing recognition that global capital demands a labor response that is global. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels point out, Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lie not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by Modern Industry, and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralize the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes.

This is a worldwide development.

Labor Rights in the Era of Globalization : Law & Ethics of Human Rights

In both developing and industrial countries, the labor movements are increasingly aware of the global nature of the capitalist enemy. It is far from clear what form global labor solidarity will ultimately take, but it is clear that all manner of international ties are bring built every day. And both are still somewhat mired in their cold war pasts. Nevertheless, both are playing an important roles in fighting globalization.

However, increasingly it is the specific global union federations, what used to be called trade secretariats, that are the center of building day-to-day working ties for global labor. These global union federations are built on specific industries such as garment and textile or metal working. In the past, these forms were mostly for sharing information and national experiences in fighting and organizing workers in specific industries. Today, unions go beyond sharing information to coordinated action including around strike struggles. And much of the new global solidarity takes place outside of the two world federations and their global union federations.

Increasingly, US unions are signing specific solidarity agreements and alliances directly with unions in other countries that bargain with the same transnational corporations. For example, the United Steelworkers Union has such agreements across the globe including in Mexico and Brazil. Now there are regular global conferences of these rubber unions to map out specific bargaining strategy and solidarity.

Labour Law in an Era of Globalization: Transformative Practices and Possibilities

Road Blocks to Labor Unity Global capitalism is built on an ugly history of racism and national chauvinism. From slavery through colonialism and neocolonialism, through world wars brought on by imperialism and fascism, capitalism has grown into a global system based on oppression, super-exploitation and bloody conquest. The transnational corporations of today, like all their predecessors, use every tool at their disposal to divide labor and the people. Apologists for capitalist globalization claim that they are bringing jobs and economic development when they chase low wages throughout the developing world.

Instead NAFTA has driven down overall wages in Mexico and destroyed many rural based economies and agricultures, driving millions off their land. This is a pattern repeated by all the so-called free trade agreements. Perhaps one of the biggest products of capitalist globalization is migration. By there were over million people crossing borders leaving their own countries in search of work. Much of this migration is the result of corporate plunder of developing countries.

Large percentages of the victims are racially and nationally oppressed peoples. Whole far-right-wing, even fascistic movements have been built on racism towards immigrants in industrial countries including the US. While it is global capital that benefits from racism and national chauvinism, unfortunately these ills too often find reflection in the working-class movements and in labor. This even finds its reflection in the divisions in the world trade-union movement: While great strides have been made in the US labor movement including a complete change in policy towards immigrant workers, recent bouts of China bashing have commingled political anti-Communism with racism in targeting Chinese workers and their working-class government.

Again, it is important to note the growing movements for world labor unity.

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When the AFL-CIO and several industrial unions reached out to unions in Mexico, it went a long way in reversing racism reflected in our labor movement. The same can be said for efforts in the Caribbean and other parts of South and Central America.

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Millions of women workers around the world suffer some of the worst evils of capitalist globalization. The race to the bottom finds them in the worst global sweatshop hellholes. Transnational corporations make billions off the exploitation of women. Only full representation of women at all levels of the labor movement and commitment to organize industries and sectors of the world economy where women are concentrated can begin to bring equality. Another horrific feature of capitalist globalization is the rise of child labor.

Where the working class fought and abolished child labor in major industrial countries over a century ago — now capitalist globalization has re-established it as a substantial profit making practice in the world. World labor is increasingly putting the fight against child labor at the forefront of its global agenda. Labor Today So, with all this background and general information, where does that leave US labor today in a globalized world? First we have to realize that the attacks on labor here in the US are not unique.

Capitalist globalization has rained down right-wing attacks and setbacks on labor many places around the globe. These attacks have ranged from changing labor law against the rights of labor, to the use of police force and repression against labor.

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Just a quick example — in Australia a new sweeping labor law is being proposed by the conservative government that will allow companies to fire workers at will, force workers to sign individual labor contracts, reduce minimum wages and limit the rights of workers to get information and assistance from their unions.

Indeed, much is made about the decline of union membership in the US. This decline is also true in most of the industrial countries and in much of the developing world. In truth all the factors from plant closings, to union busting, to unfair labor law and limits on the right to organize that have reduced union membership here at home have been factors around the world. Capitalist globalization has to be met with international labor solidarity. The process of building global labor solidarity is an objective process of the class struggle, just as capitalist globalization is an objective process.

While it is too early to picture exactly the new forms global solidarity will take — global unions or global trade federations with international contracts, for example, one clear responsibility for progressive forces in labor is to make the connections and push for greater and greater international ties and contact with workers of the world.