Labour Rights in Global Production Networks

The global economy, and in particular the organization of global production and international trade, has changed significantly in the last three decades. Today, international trade and global production are increasingly organised in highly fragmented and geographically dispersed production networks where transnational corporations (TNCs) break up the production process in different parts and locate them in different countries. These transformations have important impacts on the development prospects of countries, firms and workers. While the impacts of these changes on countries, regions and firms have been studied rather extensively, comparatively little has been said about the effects on workers. Hence, this report analyses how global production networks are configured and how the incorporation of firms into these networks impacts on the position of workers and their rights. To analyse these questions an adapted Global Production Network (GPN) approach is used that not only considers the key role of firms, in particular lead firms, in global production networks but also non-firm actors, the institutional and regulatory context and workers.

Art der Publikation:


Leonhard Plank, Cornelia Staritz and Karin Lukas

Chamber of Labour

June 2009

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