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IFAs – The challenges lying ahead. Setting Standards of Labor Practices in Global Production Networks – Trade Union Involvement via International Framework Agreements?

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IFAs – The challenges lying ahead

Setting Standards of Labor Practices in Global Production Networks –

Trade Union Involvement via International Framework Agreements?

Michael Fichter, Markus Helfen & Jörg SydowInstitute of Political Science & Institute of Management,Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

GUF WorkshopFriedrich-Ebert-Foundation / Hans-Böckler-Foundation

IGM BildungsstätteMay 18, 2009

Fichter, Helfen & Sydow: Ensuring Core Labor Standards through IFAs?


Labor in the global value network

Labor in the Global Value Network

  • What are some characteristics of labor's situation?

  • geographical dispersion

  • mutual dependency

  • competition for jobs

  • fragmented representation

  • status hierarchy (vertical + horizontal / core - periphery)

Fichter, Helfen & Sydow: Ensuring Core Labor Standards through IFAs?


Self-employed

Peripheral Groups

Numerical Flexibility

Core groups

Out-sourcing

Temporarywork

Fixed-termcontracts

Functional flexibility

Part-timeWork

(Source: Atkinson 1985)

Fichter, Helfen & Sydow: Ensuring Core Labor Standards through IFAs?


Challenges for labour a governance issue re gaining employee collective voice globally

Challenges for labour: A governance issue?(Re)gaining employee collective voice globally

  • How? What strategies?

  • Organizing at the workplace

  • Building local and regional networks (company-based, sectoral, regional)

  • Cross-border exchange and cooperation in the global value network

  • International Framework Agreements

  • Political actions for implementation of ILO standards and comprehensive labour laws

Fichter, Helfen & Sydow: Ensuring Core Labor Standards through IFAs?


Challenges
Challenges

  • International Framework Agreements

  • Organizing Space

  • Governance. Linking Trade Union Input throughout the GPN

  • Transcending the European realm.USA and Japan

  • More, Better or Both

  • From TNC-based to Branch IFAs

  • Strategic Role of IFAs in GUF Strategies

Fichter, Helfen & Sydow: Ensuring Core Labor Standards through IFAs?


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