The Politics of Labor in a Global Age: Continuity and Change in Late-Industralizing and Post-Socialist Economies

The Politics of Labor in a Global Age: Continuity and Change in Late-Industralizing and Post-Socialist Economies

The Politics of Labor in a Global Age: Continuity and Change in Late-Industralizing and Post-Socialist Economies

The Politics of Labor in a Global Age: Continuity and Change in Late-Industralizing and Post-Socialist Economies

Synopsis

The Politics of Labor in a Global Age is one of the first works to analyse and compare recent shifts in patterns of industrial relations across late-industrializing and post-socialist economies. The volume features original and timely essays on labor relations at national, local, and workplacelevels, as economic and politicla actors cope with the similar challenges associated with economic adjustment measures and the impact of 'globalization'. The authors reveal that while globalization has threatened the position of organized labor and prompted business and state elites to accommodategreater labor market flexibility, the legacies of past institutions remain evident in destinctive trends in labor politics within and across late-industrializing and post-socialist settings. The comparisons suggest that globalization is best understood not as a source of covergence but as a set ofcommon pressures that are mediated by specific historical inheritances, that spur varied responses on the part of industrial relations actors, and that facilitate quite diverse institutional outcomes.

Excerpt

Within the last two decades, transnational consumption networks have widened and deepened and labor processes have become increasingly informal. Within recent decades, the very nature of production has changed. The ability of trade unions to organize and represent labor in conventional ways is seriously challenged by a trend toward informal, contractless, independent, freelance, home-based, or otherwise unregulated and unprotected employment, and by political appeals to classless identities. Organized labor finds itself in the midst of an historic economic challenge. Not only do labor organizations suffer the general crisis of legitimacy in the conventional organizations of modern political life. They are also shaken from their foundations in an increasingly informal economy.

This chapter covers wide terrain in order to gain a broad perspective on the institutional landscape in which trade unions in industrializing countries are involved and the organizational, and strategic efforts they have effected in response to industrial restructuring and shifting labor force demands. The chapter first examines trade union development in India and Pakistan, countries with broadly similar economies and large labor forces. Focusing on two variables—trade unions' relationships with political parties and the nature of workers' representation in trade unions—two distinct patterns of development emerge. In India, an impressive labor movement based on political unionism developed and exercised some influence over economic policy. In Pakistan, an assertive and often militant workers' movement emerged, was severely repressed, and exercised little influence over economic policy. The chapter then assesses the ability of each labor movement to oppose recent economic reforms, specifically the privatization efforts of each government.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.