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Trade And The Rights Of Labour: Views Of Teacher Unionists
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-05, 03:49 authored by Griffin, Gerard, Nyland, Chris, O'Rourke, Anne
The notion that the right to engage in international trade should be linked to respect for core labour standards has become one of the most contentious issues in the current globalisation debate. Arguments surrounding a workers' rights clause have often been presented as a case of "North" versus "South", with the governments of the latter countries asserting that the promotion of workers' rights is a protectionist ploy by the North designed to undermine the comparative advantage of the South. It is generally assumed, in both academic literature and by Non-Government Organisations, that the positions advocated by Southern governments are shared by the workers of these developing nations. This paper tests the validity of this claim by comparing and contrasting the views and opinions of Southern trade union activists and leaders in the education industry with those of their Northern colleagues. We argue that Southern unionists are strong supporters of linking trade and labour standards.