Workers' Rights (worker + right)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Nine Years of New Labour: Neoliberalism and Workers' Rights

Paul Smith
Since it was first elected in 1997, a large Commons majority won in three general elections and a benign economic environment have combined to give New Labour the authority and opportunity to implement its programme for industrial relations and employment law. This paper offers an appraisal of New Labour's neoliberalism, and its relevance for understanding the scope and limits of its reform of employment law. The conclusion calls for a campaign to restore and extend trade union rights as a prerequisite for safeguarding workers' interests within the labour market, employment relationship and society. [source]

Designing out vulnerability, building in respect: violence, safety and sex work policy

Teela Sanders
Abstract One recent finding about the prostitution market is the differences in the extent and nature of violence experienced between women who work on the street and those who work from indoor sex work venues. This paper brings together extensive qualitative fieldwork from two cities in the UK to unpack the intricacies in relation to violence and safety for indoor workers. Firstly, we document the types of violence women experience in indoor venues noting how the vulnerabilities surrounding work-based hazards are dependent on the environment in which sex is sold. Secondly, we highlight the protection strategies that indoor workers and management develop to maintain safety and order in the establishment. Thirdly, we use these empirical findings to suggest that violence should be a high priority on the policy agenda. Here we contend that the organizational and cultural conditions that seem to offer some protection from violence in indoor settings could be useful for informing the management of street sex work. Finally, drawing on the crime prevention literature, we argue that it is possible to go a considerable way to designing out vulnerability in sex work, but not only through physical and organizational change but building in respect for sex workers rights by developing policies that promote the employment/human rights and citizenship for sex workers. This argument is made in light of the Coordinated Prostitution Strategy. [source]

Corporate response to CSO criticism: decoupling the corporate responsibility discourse from business practice

Jenny Ählström
Abstract The general objective of this paper is to further research on the interaction between civil society organizations (CSOs) and corporations. The aim is to analyze how corporations are responding to demands to enlarge the responsibility sphere. A case is presented in which CSOs are putting pressure on the garment retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) to be responsible for safeguarding workers' rights in the outsourced production of H&M garments. The conclusion of the paper, derived from analyzing the empirical context using discourse theory, is that: (1) CSOs represent a challenging discourse (responsible business) attempting to change the dominant corporate discourse (profitable business); (2) If the challenging discourse is threatening the legitimacy of the corporation, a responsible business discourse is created; and (3) Responding to the demands of the CSOs is done to keep the business practice intact, hence practice is decoupled from the responsible business discourse. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Free movement, equal treatment and workers' rights: can the European Union solve its trilemma of fundamental principles?

Jon Erik Dølvik
ABSTRACT This article analyses the trilemma the EU is facing concerning three fundamental principles on which the Community rests: free movement of services and labour; non-discrimination and equal treatment, and the rights of association and industrial action. With rising cross-border flows of services and (posted) labour after the Eastward enlargement, the conflict between these rights has triggered industrial disputes and judicial strife. In the view of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), highlighted in the Laval Quartet, some principles are more fundamental than others. Tracing the ,dual track' along which European integration has evolved, whereby supranational market integration has been combined with national semi-sovereignty in industrial relations and social policies, our claim is that the supremacy of free movement over basic social rights implied by the ECJ judgments is leading Europe in a politically and socially unsustainable direction. To prevent erosion of the European Social Models and of popular support for European integration, the politicians have to reinsert themselves into the governance of the European project. A pertinent start would be to ensure that the rising mass of cross-border service workers in Europe become subject to the same rights and standards as their fellow workers in the emerging pan-European labour market. [source]

Promoting sustainable compliance: Styles of labour inspection and compliance outcomes in Brazil

Roberto PIRES
Abstract. Can workers' rights and social protections be reconciled with firms' competitiveness and productivity? In contrast to current development policy advice, which emphasizes the "flexibilization" of labour laws, this article contributes to an ongoing debate about styles of inspection by exploring the causal links between different regulatory practices and economic development and compliance outcomes. Findings from subnational comparisons in Brazil challenge established theories about the behaviours of firms and regulatory agencies, and indicate that labour inspectors have been able to promote sustainable compliance (legal and technical solutions linking up workers' rights with firms' performance) by combining punitive and pedagogical inspection practices. [source]

Evidence of organizational injustice in poultry processing plants: Possible effects on occupational health and safety among latino workers in North Carolina

Antonio J. Marín MA
Abstract Background Over 250,000 workers are employed in poultry processing, one of the most dangerous industries in the US. These jobs are increasingly held by immigrant workers who are frequently undocumented, lack knowledge of workers' rights to workplace safety, and who are reluctant to pursue their rights. This situation creates the potential for organizational injustice, made visible through abusive supervisory practices, and leads to situations in which occupational illnesses and injuries are likely to occur. Methods This paper draws on data collected during the research phases of a community-based participatory research and social justice project. Two hundred survey interviews and 26 in-depth interviews were collected in representative, community-based samples in western North Carolina. Analyses describe associations between one aspect of organizational injustice, abusive supervision, and worker injuries. Results Workers' reports of abusive supervision are associated with a variety of specific and summary health indicators. The associations are stronger for women than for men. These suggest that the use of relative power within the plant may be the basis for injuries and illnesses. Three types of power relations are described that form the basis for these abusive interactions in the plant: ethnicity (American vs. Latino), immigration status ("good papers" vs. undocumented), and rank (supervisor vs. worker). Two factors modify these relations: kinship (preferences and privileges for family members) and gender. Conclusions Among Latino immigrants working in poultry plants, power differences reflecting organizational injustice in the form of abusive supervision may promote occupational illnesses and injuries, particularly for women. Am. J. Ind. Med. 52:37,48, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

United by a Common Language?

ANTIPODE, Issue 1 2008
India to Call Centre Offshoring, Trade Union Responses in the UK
Abstract:, The offshoring of business processes from the global North to low-cost countries of the global South has grown spectacularly in the current decade. Self-evidently, transnational relocation presents considerable challenges for organised labour since it suggests both a ,race to the bottom' in respect of pay, conditions and workers' rights and wholesale redundancies in the developed economies. This paper examines the specific case of the migration of call centres from the UK to India and trade union responses in both geographies. Informed by theoretical developments, insights and evidence from diverse disciplines and literatures, the authors concur particularly with Herod's conviction that union strategies to counter TNCs should not be counterposed between ,organising globally' and ,organising locally'and that ,organising at both scales simultaneously may best serve their goals'. Following reflection upon the nature of the call centre and consideration of important contradictions in the offshoring process, we present evidence of UK union responses ranging from the nationalistic, even xenophobic, to the internationalsist, and conclude that membership mobilisation on a principled basis has been key to the limited successes unions have achieved. The paper also evaluates developments in India and the emergence of an embryonic organisation UNITES which is attempting to organise its call centre and business process outsourcing (BPO) workforce. We conclude by considering the gap between the potential and the reality of effective internationally co-ordinated union activity. [source]