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Discuss the implication of globalization for the organized labour movement in rich countries - Essay Example

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Discuss the implication of globalization for the organized labour movement in rich countries

The process of globalization, with the liberal economic policies, which have been adopted by many countries, has come to weaken the strong foundation upon which many trade unions have been built. Globalization has intensified the economic competition among the various developed nations of the world and to increase this competitiveness, these countries have adopted very liberal trade policies to ensure that their products remain at the top of the global market. These new policies have had an impact on trade unions in very negative way because one of their key parts are the legal restrictions which have been placed on the rights of workers for the sake of a higher efficiency of the economy. A major consequence of these restrictions has been the fact that trade unions in these countries have come to lose those rights, which they had struggled for many years to gain, and this has ensured that the political foundations of such trade unions have been increasingly weakened1. At the same time, the liberal policies that have been brought about by globalization have been creates more in favor of the employers than the workers. These policies advocate for the flexibility of the labor market and this has meant that the labor market has been deregulated and that employers have been empowered in areas the hiring of workers, their firing, the choice of how much to pay them, as well as the choice of the use of labor. As a result of this, informal employment and other cheap forms of labor have become prevalent because employers prefer them not only for the cheapness of wages paid to them, but also for the fact that they do not have to cover them in such matters as insurance and safety. This has made it very difficult for trade unions to be able to organize workers into the powerful force that they previously were because many of these informally employed people are not members of unions. The swift change in the development of equipment as well as the globalization of the economy has led to the acceleration of structural adjustment. With the division of labor on the international scene, some of the developed countries have opted to shift those enterprises that they consider labor intensive to other countries where there is cheaper labor. This has led to the trade unions in these countries to lose those industrial sectors, which had been their traditional bases of support. To add to this, the use of new technologies in such traditional industries as steel, manufacturing and construction has led to the drop in the demand for labor from these industries due to the fact that most of the labor within them has become redundant. Moreover, the traditional ways through which trade unions worked have been challenged by the development of the Information Technology and other related industries, and it is against this background that trade union activities in developed countries, are on the decline2. Globalization has enabled the speeding up of the work of trade unions at an international level. Trade unions have developed as a product of the social and economic conflicts that have been brought about by industrial disputes. They gain their legitimacy through their legalization at a national level and they function as the protectors of the rights of the workers who fall within their jurisdiction. Due to the globalization ...Show more

Summary

Globalization is an unstoppable force, which is slowly spreading throughout the world and influencing many things, which were once thought to be only specific to certain regions. Globalization had not only had a huge impact on the political and economic arena of the world but it has also had far-reaching effects on the labor movements in rich countries…
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