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Original Article

Ekonomik Yaklasim. 2010; 21(77): 49-100

Crisis of Globalizing Labour and Global Inequality


This study examines the crises of labour which has occurred with the participation of labour in globalized production processes. Since 1980’s global production has been organized in the form of global value chains. Global value chains have an intrinsic hierarchical structure which causes an asymmetrical structure in global markets. On one side of this asymmetry stand giant transnational firms, on the other side de-unionized labour. Developing countries can only articulate with global value chains on the basis of cheap labour. This causes a huge transformation in labour markets towards non-standard employment categories. Even sweatshops have arisen again. In addition to this trend, the bargaining power of labour has also eroded with the process of deregulation in labour markets. Labour is suffering an erosion of its income and social rights. Furthermore, with each financial crisis the crisis of labour is deepening. In this study, taking account of the narrowing policy spaces of national states, setting global labour standards is being evaluated as the most rational solution.

Key words: Global Value Chains, Labour Markets, Non-standard Employment, Global Inequality. JEL Classification: F16, F13, O15

Article Language: Turkish English

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