||Issue No. 210||27 February 2004|
Rock Of Ages
Interview: Trading in Principle
Unions: While We Were Away
Politics: Follow the Leader
Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
History: Worker Control Harco Style
Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
Taking The Piss
Tom Goes Off I
Tom Goes Off II
Time for Global Zone Out
The ground-breaking report by the ILO’s World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation 'A Fair Globalisation’ brings together the views of unions, employers and governments to warn the benefits of economic change are unevenly spread.
The World Commission report calls for better conditions for workers in Export Processing Zones, which employ in excess of 50 million workers worldwide, in countries as varied as the Dominican Republic and the Philippines - and on Australia's doorsteps in Fiji and Indonesia.
These are often a hotbed of anti-union activity, where fundamental trade union rights are denied to workers, most of whom are women, as the zones are often beyond the reach of national labour laws which may themselves be weak.
"It is high time that the international community supported us in our struggle for decent work in EPZs," International Council of free Trade Unions general secretary Guy Ryder says.
"We need to halt the "race to the bottom" that all too often dictates working life in EPZs where competition is based on poor labour standards and daily violations of fundamental rights"
The World Commission report underlines the essential role of collective bargaining in promoting productivity, ensuring equality and giving workers a voice at the workplace.
The report targets the responsibilities of the international institutions, like the ILO, and stresses the role they must play in ensuring that fair labour standards are not undermined.
"All organisations in the multilateral system need to deal with international economic and labour policies in a more integrated and consistent way as a foundation for economic development and social justice," Ryder says.
"This of course needs to be backed by an ILO which is equipped fully with the authority it needs to bring about respect for core labour standards. But the significance of this report is that it offers all of us the chance to make a new start on globalisation".
Read the report at: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/wcsdg/index.htm
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