The International Labour Organisation’s World Labor Report 2000 showed that increasing trade liberalization and the effects of globalization have resulted in job losses and less secure employment in both industrialized and Third World countries. Attacks on social welfare, healthcare and education, as well as privatizations, labour market deregulation, higher unemployment and strongarm tactics against union organizing are rolling back many of the hardwon fruits of struggle for workers around the world, and are being locked in by international free trade and investment agreements.

De nieuwste tips om vrouwen versieren onder de knie te krijgen.

In the name of global competitiveness, labour laws are being dismantled. Deindustrialization, as small- and medium-sized producers are crushed by floods of duty-free imports or by transnational rivals setting up shop nearby, has led to massive job losses.

The policies of liberalization and privatization have marched hand in hand with the restructuring of work and especially casualization and flexibility. As public spending is cut, many in the public service sector are laid off. This has led to the erosion of fulltime jobs, the growth of casual and contract labour positions and the intensification of work. Industry strategies of contracting out and outsourcing work, and the casualization have eroded the unionized workforce, along with the resurgence of temporary foreign worker programs in a number of countries. Bosses are able to threaten relocation of the workplace to a location with a cheaper, non-union workforce to bully workers trying to organize.

Such neoliberal policies force people from their farms, jobs, families and communities and into exploitation and precarity as migrant workers in other countries. Deindustrialization and the downsizing and privatization of essential services — accompanied by increasing user fees — are other “push factors”, forcing growing numbers to seeking work abroad. Health and education professionals in shattered public sectors are forced to migrate in search of work. Free trade, its advocates (like the US Administration) promise, will supposedly lead to a reduction of immigration because countries will become more prosperous. Washington proclaimed that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would lead Mexico to export goods, and not people to the US, yet so-called illegal immigration to the US has risen.

Some FTAs include provisions or agreements on labour mobility, such as deals which Japan has signed with Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines which allow for a limited number of nurses and caregivers into Japan on a temporary basis, prompting critics to argue that such deals merely institutionalize the commodification, exploitation and international trade in workers.

In many countries, trade unions and workers are playing important roles in struggles against FTAs. In Korea, for example, many thousands of KCTU members participated in demonstrations against the US-Korea FTA. Workers throughout Central America countries actively opposed CAFTA, such as those from the state power and telecommunications sector in Costa Rica and education workers in Guatemala.

last update: May 2012


     EN   ES   FR 
  • 12-Nov-2015 International Business Times As US promotes TPP as a way to improve labor standards, Guatemala shows failed promises of previous trade deals
    When Guatemala joined CAFTA in 2006, proponents of the deal said it would improve conditions for workers. Seven years later, Guatemala was named the most dangerous country for trade unionists. Supporters of the TPP are making many of the same promises.
  • 17-Sep-2015 In These Times Think free-trade deals can raise labor standards? This case suggests otherwise
    The Obama administration promotes the TPP as “the most progressive trade bill in history,” with the highest labor standards yet but similar promises have been trotted out to justify every free-trade agreement from NAFTA on.
  • 2-Sep-2015 Quiebra azucarera a la mexicana
    La reducción de aranceles de azúcar en Colombia pone en riesgo los 188 mil empleos que genera la agroindustria de la caña en 48 municipios y la estabilidad de 350 mil familias paneleras, que se ven afectadas por lo que le suceda al azúcar a lo largo y ancho del territorio nacional
  • 2-Sep-2015 Astro Awani ASEAN govts should consider incentives for flexible employment arrangements
    ASEAN governments should consider giving further incentives for expenses incurred by employers in implementing flexible employment arrangements.
  • 20-Aug-2015 MTUC TPPA compromises M’sian workers
    Government of Malaysia has proposed several amendments be made to the Sabah Labour Ordinance, the Industrial Relations Act and Workers’ Union Act to allow TPPA to materialise but labour groups are opposed to such measures.
  • 14-Jul-2015 Law360 TPP opponent skewers Mexico’s labor standards
    The top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee called on the Obama administration on Friday to use the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord as an engine for improving Mexico’s labor regime, which he said has been in persistent decline since the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • 7-Jul-2015 Left Foot Forward Obama seeks to fast track TTIP
    Unions such as Unite and the United Steelworkers in the US and Canada have warned that their hard fought for and cherished social, employment rights and sectoral collective bargaining system may be undermined by new trade deals.
  • 17-Jun-2015 Service Employees International Union Trans-Pacific Partnership trade proposal threatens SEIU members
    The reality is that TPP would expand the power of multinational corporations while limiting the ability of the US government to protect workers, communities and the environment.
  • 24-Apr-2015 EurActiv TUC’s Owen Tudor: ’We are totally opposed to TTIP’
    Shrouded with secrecy and posing a threat to public services, Owen Tudor tells EurActiv why the UK Trade Union Congress doesn’t believe the hype over TTIP, and why exploitation, rather than immigration, should be the cause of people’s concerns.
  • 9-Feb-2015 La Libre Nous n’avons pas besoin du TTIP!
    Les responsables des deux principaux syndicats belges francophones expriment de nettes réserves à l’égard du Partenariat Transatlantique de Commerce et d’Investissement.
  • 0 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | ... | 110