Not surprisingly, Norway and Denmark score the best in the world workers' rights rankings. These countries have a long tradition of working, as well as laws and enforcement to support their principles. The second argument in favor of strict labor standards does not emphasize the welfare of the working poor, but on the simple economic self-interest. A trading partner who fails to enforce basic protections for its workers may gain an unfair trade advantage, increasing its competitiveness in the market against countries with stronger labor safeguards.
The inclusion of labor standards in trade agreements can encourage countries in a free trade area to maintain the protection of workers rather than abandon them in a race to the bottom. If each country must observe a common set of minimum standards, member countries can offer and enforce worker protections at a near-optimal level. This second argument, unlike the first, can be evaluated with theory and economic evidence. How rich do middle-class workers who don't have night hours or a minimum wage feel? To calculate this, we looked at median revenue versus cost of living, represented by the price of a Big Mac.
Australia takes first place for the second time, with workers able to buy seven hamburgers an hour (if they wish). Mexicans better save the world's most famous hamburger for special occasions. More than 150 have ratified the four dealing with forced labour and discrimination in employment and wages. Similarly, when President Clinton and some EU leaders tried to include workers' rights in the next round of multilateral trade negotiations at the 1999 WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle, developing countries rejected the initiative.
ILO standards, he notes, are designed to protect the interests of workers in low- and high-income countries. Washington can help U.S. consumers increase pressure on offending countries by requiring sellers to label products with country of origin. Bangladesh is no stranger to labour rights violations and its problems with trade union rights persist.
As a point of comparison, only 12 countries scored a 1, which means that rights are not regularly violated, and 11 out of 12 are in Europe, with Uruguay as the only South American outlier. The number of countries where workers are exposed to physical violence and threats increased by 10 percent (from 52 to 5) and include Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia and Ukraine. The main global institution that enforces labor standards today is the ILO, which regularly and regularly reports on the measures that each nation takes to implement the standards it has ratified. While the international community broadly agrees on the need to respect labor standards, the agreement does not extend to what those standards should be.
Corporate interests are being put ahead of workers' interests in the global economy, with 60% of countries excluding entire categories of workers from labor legislation, undermining fundamental democratic rights. Instead, it provides technical assistance to member countries to comply with their labor laws and enforcement procedures. If the WTO is to be used to assess sanctions against countries that violate international labor standards, its member countries must devise a new way of assigning sanctions for violations. Labour and civil rights laws already contain the fundamental protections required by ILO conventions.
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