Global Labour Columns
Edited out of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, the Global Labour Column provides a forum in which labour movements and their allies around the world can connect, debate, and share knowledge and experiences. By drawing on leading academic researchers and trade union leaders and activists, the Column is a unique platform for debate on responses to the crisis and, more broadly, to the challenges of globalisation.
Is compliance with international labour standards good for economic development, or does non-compliance give countries a competitive advantage? Are we faced with a ‘race to the bottom’ with respect to labour standards? And how might the answers depend on a country’s level of development as well as on the particular industries and labour standards in question? In the absence of clear-cut answers, debates about the impact of labour standards on economic development have only intensified with the rapid expansion of preferential trade agreements including labour provisions as well as debates over such contested mega-regional trade agreements as the now defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which have generated heated discussions in a number of high-level policy forums.