Emerging economies, freedom of association and collective bargaining for women workers in export-oriented manufacturing

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Abstract

This chapter examines collective rights such as the right to freedom of association and assembly embedded in corporate-led governance mechanisms within global supply chains. In particular, it focuses on the experience of women workers in export-oriented factories and prospects for women worker empowerment. Two prominent mechanisms – monitoring and enforcement of corporate codes of conduct and value chain upgrading – are outlined and assessed in relation to women’s economic empowerment and political agency. The chapter argues that self-regulatory mechanisms tend to uphold the weaknesses of the existing regimes rather than finding remedies. Importantly, these mechanisms provide little space for worker inclusion in the design of auditing methods, or in some cases, for representing their interests accurately. In other words, they did little to address asymmetrical power, as, within the repertoire of global governance, codes of conduct and social upgrading remain firmly rooted in the process of ‘labour flexibilisation’, which has been detrimental to collective labour rights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Employment Relations
EditorsAdrian Wilkinson, Tony Dundon, Jimmy Donaghey, Alexander J.S. Colvin
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter23
Pages372-386
Number of pages15
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)9781138911178, 9781315692968
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameThe Routledge Companion
PublisherRoutledge

Cite this

Gunawardana, S. J. (2018). Emerging economies, freedom of association and collective bargaining for women workers in export-oriented manufacturing. In A. Wilkinson, T. Dundon, J. Donaghey, & A. J. S. Colvin (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Employment Relations (1st ed., pp. 372-386). (The Routledge Companion). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315692968-23