Global Labour University


Financialisation of Capital – Deterioration of Working Conditions

The 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation urges a shift in global policies to achieve Social Justice and Decent Work. The Declaration calls to examine and consider all international economic and financial policies in the light of the fundamental objective of social justice. At the GLU annual conference in 2009 trade unionists and scholars are invited to present papers and discuss the challenges for organised labour.

about the conference


The conference will focus on two main topics:

1) Global capital mobility and its impact on wages and employment conditions.
The desire of enterprises to maximise profit has not changed over time. Nevertheless, enterprise behaviour has changed dramatically over the last decades. Aggressive short term profit maximization by financial investors is a key feature of this new environment. Despite some impressive campaigns and organizing successes trade unions were not able to defend successfully workers’ interests against these new structural forces. Informal and precarious employment is on the rise, concessions of workers in regular employment are widespread and inequality is growing. Hopes, voluntary corporate social responsibility could make a fundamental difference, evaporated under the heat of global competition. Increasingly the debate refocuses on the role of states and (global) hard law to reign in global capital markets.

2) Extending rights and collective bargaining to workers in precarious and informal employment. Global companies and the global financial industry have been successfully influencing decision making on a national and international level to shape legislation and global rules in favour of individual and common business interests. The demand for immediate high returns from financial investors and the inability to raise prices in a competitive environment do result in massive pressure on wages and working conditions. Millions of workers are not protected by law or collective agreements. They are forced to accept precarious or informal employment.

Civil society groups including trade unions are becoming more global to defend their interest as workers and citizens against the highest rates of return on private investment as the guiding principle of global policymaking. This requires innovative approaches to organizing and changes in institutions and regulations to readjust the balance of power between private business interest and society at large in particular as transparent and accountable democratic decision making has in many cases been substituted by lobbyism and supranational bodies that lack democratic control and legitimacy.


Event Facts

Date 22-24 February 2009
Location Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
Speakers Parsuraman, Jan Breman, Elmar Altvater, Peter Rossman, Dilip Nachane, E. Toppo, M.S. Kitchlu, Sasmita Palo, Mike Waghorne, S.T. Sawant, Umraomal Purohit, Dierk Hirschel, Karamat Ali, Babu Mathew, Bhalchandra Kango, Arbind Singh, Narsimha Reddy, Devan Pillay, Ashok Singh, Renana Jhabvala, Edward Webster, Alakh Sharma, Edward Webster, D. K. Srivastava, Rohit Jain, Frank Hofferr, Sharit Bhowmik

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Conference Director:
Dr. Sharit K. Bhowmik
Professor and Dean
School of Management and Labour Studies
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Tel: +91-22-2552 5800 

Conference Coordinators:
Ms. Indira Gartenberg
Mr. Debdulal Saha
Mobile No.: +91-98194 61819 

Conference Secretariat:
School of Management and Labour Studies
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
V.N. Purav Marg, Deonar
Mumbai-400 088, India

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