Imposing Labour Standards Essay

Submitted By alanablack
Words: 6967
Pages: 28

A STUDY OF THE DEBATE SURROUNDING
IMPOSING LABOUR STANDARDS
ON DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:
ARE METHODS EMPLOYED EFFECTIVE?

Group Members:

Alana Black
Lorna Carey
June Northcote
Allison Robertson

CONTENTS PAGE

Background 3
Aims & Objectives 3
Scope & Limitations 3
INTRODUCTION 4
1 THE DEBATE: CONFLICTING STAKEHOLDER VIEWS 4
2. METHODS FOR IMPLEMENTATION & CONTROL 10
3. WEIGHING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF METHODS EMPLOYED 13
4. CONCLUSIONS 13
LIST OF APPENDIX’S 16
REFERENCES 27

A STUDY OF THE DEBATE SURROUNDING
IMPOSING LABOUR STANDARDS
ON DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:
ARE METHODS EMPLOYED EFFECTIVE?

Background

Labour standards in developing countries are currently a very emotive and controversial topic said to be “at the heart of the backlash against globalization” (Johnson and Turner, 2010). On the face of it improving and regulating labour standards globally would seem the morale and fair thing to do. However, there are many conflicting viewpoints to be considered and appeased which makes agreement and implementation very complex.

Aims & Objectives

This report aims to study the debate surrounding the imposing of labour standards on developing countries. Differing viewpoints and opinions will be compared, with motivations discussed. Examples will be used in order to evidence finds and in order to place views and issues in context. Finally, consideration will be given as to how effective methods for implementation of labour standards are in reality.

Scope & Limitations

The scope of this report is to look at stakeholders within developing and developed company’s and their conflicting views regarding labour standards. This report looks at The World Trade Organisation, Non-government organisations, Multi-national organisations and International Labour organisations as a whole in order to draw conclusions. Limitation for this report are imposed by a maximum word count and time restrictions.

A STUDY OF THE DEBATE SURROUNDING
IMPOSING LABOUR STANDARDS
ON DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:
ARE METHODS EMPLOYED EFFECTIVE?

INTRODUCTION

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) defines labour standards as:

“Those that are applied to the way workers are treated, the term covers a wide range of things: from use of child labour and forced labour, to the right to organise trade unions and to strike, minimum wages, health and safety conditions and working hours.” (WTO, 2012).

It is observed that working standards tend to be lower within countries that are less developed this is attributed to “lower standards in labour laws and regulations particularly in areas such as health and safety and working hours. There is also a lack of enforcement of existing labour laws." EIRIS (2009) The intent of labour standards is to rectify this imbalance by providing a minimum level of acceptable working practices and conditions to act as a benchmark on a global scale.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was established in 1919 as the primary agency responsible for maintaining and developing working standards. In June 1998 the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) was adopted by ILO. This provided a framework of four principles and rights which form the basis of core labour standards. Currently, 185 countries have ILO membership, which places an obligation upon them to respect these guidelines (see Appendix 1 for a detailed account of these principles and rights).

1. THE DEBATE: CONFLICTING STAKEHOLDER VIEWS

Introduction: This section compares conflicting opinions, viewpoints and motivations which form the backdrop to the international labour standards debate, with issues examined in context.

1.1 Developed Countries

On the face of it the broad argument put forward by developed countries in support of imposing western labour standards on developing nations would seem to be, that…