>   SEARCH    
 > BROWSE Articles by :   - subject
 > GALS Home  - author
 > GALS Books  - journal
 > Working Papers   
   > SHOW ALL Articles sorted by

  Case Studies: Industry-Specific
 
Alexander, Leslie D., "Fashioning a New Approach: The Role of International Human Rights Law in Enforcing Rights of Women Garment Workers in Los Angeles", Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy v. 10 no1 (Winter 2003) p. 81-104

Abstract:
In this note, the author argues that numerous instances of human rights abuses within the United States demonstrate the need for additional mechanisms to enforce these rights. She uses a case study of women garment workers in Los Angeles to argue that the U.S. should ratify and enforce several international human rights treaties to better protect these workers. Section I describes the conditions of the garment industry sweatshops in Los Angeles, the circumstances that drive workers into sweatshop employment, and the reasons why most of the garment sweatshop workers are women. Section II discusses the domestic laws of the United States and California that should protect the workers’ rights, why attempts to enforce these laws have often failed, and how their enforcement could be improved. Section III discusses sources of international law that currently bound the U.S that could be invoked on behalf of garment workers. It also criticizes the U.S. for its failure to ratify several other treaties that would protect labor rights, including CEDAW, ICESCR, and other international instruments. Section IV describes the options that would be available to garment workers if the United States would ratify and enforce these treaties.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Women’s Rights
Newsletter: Vol 3, Issue 8
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || 
 
Batt, Rosemary & Nohara, Hiroatsu, "How Institutions and Business Strategies Affect Wages: A Cross-National Study of Call Centers", Industrial and Labor Relations Review v. 62 no4 (July 2009) p. 533-551

Abstract:
This article takes a look at wage dispersion and union wage differentials in call centers, a growing industry which represents a challenge to existing market rules and collective bargaining institutions. The study compares coordinated economies, liberal market economies, and emerging market economies. In general, the authors hypothesize that wage trends will follow the results of prior studies in other industries: that wage dispersion and union wage differentials will be highest in the most liberal economies (like the U.S.) and lowest in the most coordinated economies (like Ireland). This shows itself to be partially true: the U.S. indeed has high levels of wage dispersion and a high union wage differential, but from there the findings were not directly related to the level of market coordination and liberality. In fact, the study shows that business strategies of outsourcing and customer service segmentation also greatly affect wage trends. Further, the authors hypothesize that wage trends in emerging market economies will more closely mirror those in liberal market economies than coordinated economies. According to the authors' findings, this is indeed the case. Finally, the authors conclude with a list of potential limitations to their study methodology, as well as suggestions for areas of future research.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Collective Bargaining, Comparative Labor Law, Outsourcing
Newsletter: Vol 11, Issue 5
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Bisom-Rapp, Susan, "Exceeding Our Boundaries: Transnational Employment Law Practice and the Export of American Lawyering Styles to the Global Worksite", Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal no25 (Winter 2004) p. 257-356

Abstract:
In this article, Susan Bisom-Rapp explores the growth of international labor and employment law as a distinctive field of legal practice. Specifically, the author argues that the traditional understanding of labor and employment law as quintessentially local is changing as practitioners deal more with transnational clients. Bisom-Rapp provides a case study of the firm Littler Mendelson, a leading United States labor and employment firm, that has developed an International Practice Group to increase global client and practitioner contacts. The author conducted e-mail interviews with twenty-one lawyers in thirteen countries who are affiliated with Littler's International Practice Group. She reports that the practitioners are deeply engaged in transnational legal strategies and are enthusiastic about and implementing some of the tactics of American-style employment practice. Bison-Rapp also predicts that some aspects of American employment law are not likely to globalize, such as the concept of at-will employment. The author concludes that commonalities in lawyering styles and some substantive employment law issues are emerging across national jurisdictions, indicating that the field may be less localized than traditionally thought.

Subjects: Case Studies: Company-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Conflict of Laws
Newsletter: Vol 5, Issue 3
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Bomba, Margaret, "Exploring Legal Frameworks to Mitigate the Negative Effects of International Health Worker Migration", Boston University Law Review v. 89 no3 (June 2009) p. 1103-1135

Abstract:
This article focuses on the problem of health workers migrating en masse from the developing world to wealthy countries. In Part I, the author describes the problem and presents reasons why health workers are migrating at such an alarming rate. In Part II, the article details the debate about global health-worker migration between (1) those who wish to keep things as they are, (2) those who recognize a problem, yet advocate against control over health worker migration, and (3) those who recognize a problem and advocate for regulation of health-worker migration. Part III examines the evolving framework of immigration laws in the U.S. as they relate to doctors, in particular. The laws initially required foreign doctors to return home after training in the U.S., but now create possibilities for those doctors to remain in the U.S. Part IV then examines a number of national and international attempts at curbing Global North-to-South health-worker migration. Finally, Part V examines the efficacy of different solutions and concludes that codes of ethics for international recruitment of health workers, as well as bilateral and multilateral international agreements, are the most promising.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Corporate Codes of Conduct, Immigration
Newsletter: Vol 10, Issue 1
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Chuang, Janie A., "Marketization and Families: Achieving Accountability for Migrant Domestic Worker Abuse", North Carolina Law Review v. 88 no5 (June 2010) p. 1627-1656

Abstract:
This article discusses the plight of migrant domestic workers through a two-part analysis. In Part I, Chuang examines the global push-pull that has created a booming market for domestic workers. In underdeveloped countries, women are pushed to the North with the goal of making a decent wage and sending remittances back home. In receiving countries, a modern “care deficit” transfers unwanted household labor from middle and upper class women to migrant domestic workers. While domestics are “needed” by their First World recipients in an economic sense; cultural, gender, ethnic, and immigration-based oppression lead to deplorable work conditions. Further, while there are few international or national legal protections for domestic workers, Chuang argues that there may be hope through human trafficking legislation. In Part II, Chuang presents a case study of the trafficking of migrant domestic workers in the United States by foreign diplomats. While such cases are probably a small portion of domestic worker abuse, a combination of worker vulnerability and diplomatic immunity have prompted domestic worker organizing and legislative action. The article concludes with an examination and critique of current efforts by Congress and the State Department to protect trafficking victims.

Subjects: Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Immigration, Women’s Rights
Newsletter: Vol 10, Issue 1
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Cornwall, Janelle, "It was the First Strike of Bloggers Ever: An Examination of Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights as Italian Bloggers Take a Stand Against the Alfano Decree", Emory International Law Review v. 25 no1 (2011) p. 499-538

Abstract:
The author analyzes the legality of the Alfano Decree under the European Convention on Human Rights. The decree is a bill approved by the Italian Chamber of Deputies that precipitated a 2009 strike by hundreds of Italian bloggers. It would subject internet users to severe criminal sanctions for failing to retract posts containing inaccurate information within 48 hours of request by one who believes the material harms his/her reputation. The author concludes that the European Court on Human Rights would likely find that the decree infringes the fundamental freedom of expression under Section 10(1), does not constitute a legitimate interference under Section 10(2), and does not fall within the “margin of appreciation” doctrine that affords countries’ license to negotiate conflicts between national interests and individual rights. She argues that the decree’s political context is an important factor weighing against its legality. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s control over most of the media has made blogs one of Italy’s few independent media outlets, and the decree was promulgated in the wake of political scandal. Further, Italians have limited internet access relative to other developed countries, and other harsh restrictions, including libel laws and identification requirements, already discourage its use.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, European Union
Newsletter: Vol 11, Issue 7
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || PDF || 
 
Deery, Stephen & Doellgast, Virginia & Holtgrewe, Ursula, "The Effects of National Institutions and Collective Bargaining Arrangements on Job Quality in Front-Line Service Workplaces", Industrial and Labor Relations Review v. 62 no4 (July 2009) p. 489-509

Abstract:
This article surveys and interprets working conditions in the call centers of five different coordinated market economies (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, and Sweden) (CMEs) and three liberal market economies (Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom) (LMEs). The authors' 1,734 surveys focus on three primary issues: 1) whether job quality varies systematically between coordinated and liberal economies; 2) to what extent collective bargaining institutions affect call center job quality; and 3) whether these institutional effects differ between in-house and outsourced call centers. Meanwhile, the authors limit their measure of job quality to three workplace phenomena: rate of dismissal, use of high-involvement work practices, and level of performance monitoring. Over all, the authors found that CME call centers have better working conditions than those in LME countries. However, there are cross-country anomalies that may be explained by national labor models. Further, worker organization helps to improve working conditions generally, with joint works council-union representation providing the best conditions. Finally, likely driven in part by the demands of contracting firms, outsourced call centers were found to have worse working conditions than in-house centers.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Collective Bargaining, Comparative Labor Law, Employee Participation and Works Councils
Newsletter: Vol 10, Issue 7
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Edmondson, Michael K., "A Tale of Two Appellations: a Comparative Study of International Agreements and Prevailing Law Impacting the Availability of Seasonal Employees for the Wine-Grape Harvest in California’s Napa Valley and France's Bordeaux Appellation", Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law v. 31 no3 (Spring 2003) p. 547-586

Abstract:
This Note evaluates and compares the different approaches taken by the governments of California and France to meet the labor needs of their respective wine industries. Part II discusses the importance of the wine industry to California and France. Part III examines the problems stemming from the need for seasonal migrant labor in each of these regions. Parts IV and VI explain pertinent labor regulations in each country, including laws regulating immigration, law specifying the treatment of migrant workers, and law concerning their housing. Part VIII discusses the active role taken by the relevant governments to assist their respective wine industries in securing the required labor force to complete the wine-grape harvest. The author concludes, in Part IX, that wine-growers in both California and in France have taken socially responsible steps to protect the socially vulnerable people who toil in their vineyards.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific
Newsletter: Vol 3, Issue 7
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || 
 
Eliasoph, Ian H., "A Missing Link: International Arbitration and the Ability of Private Actors to Enforce Human Rights Norms", New England Journal of International and Comparative Law v. 10 no1 (2004) p. 83-120

Abstract:
Globalization has caused labor protections of human rights to erode as large multi-national enterprises (MNEs) search for the cheapest labor available. The author explains that international law and transnational labor regulations have been used in an attempt to address these human rights issues but have not been very successful. The author suggests that the New York Convention, which requires its member nations to recognize foreign arbitral awards and enforce those awards, may be the solution to enforcing human rights internationally. The author suggests that businesses with a large amount of bargaining power, such as MNEs, could include provisions in their contracts with foreign counterparts that would require certain labor standards be adhered to, as well as random checks to ensure compliance and remedies in case of breach. The author considers several objections to using the New York Convention in this ways, including the fact that the Convention's commercial reservation clause limits the Convention's reach to matters "considered as commercial." The author shows that most nations who have adopted the New York Convention, however, have chosen not to adopt this clause. Furthermore, those that have adopted the clause have generally interpreted "commercial" broadly; therefore, an agreement containing human rights elements and commercial elements would likely remain enforceable. The author concludes by suggesting that although MNEs may incur additional costs by including labor rights provisions in their contracts - such as costs of inspections and fines for violations - some human rights NGOs might be willing to share these costs.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Corporate Accountability, Extraterritorial Application of Law
Newsletter: Vol 8, Issue 8
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Finley, Maxmillian, "The Bitter with the Sweet: The Impact of the World Trade Organization's Settlement of the Banana Trade Dispute of the Human Rights of Ecuadorian Banana Workers", New York Law School Law Review no48 (2004) p. 815-860

Abstract:
In this article, the author examines how the World Trade Organization's Settlement of the banana trade war affected Ecuadorian banana workers. The author argues that the resolution will not benefit the workers because the Ecuadorian government and multi-national corporations profit from denying workers their basic human rights to organize and form unions. Finley notes that although the Ecuadorian Constitution and Labor Code give employees the right to organize, the laws do not require workers to be reinstated who have been fired for organizing activities. Additionally, the growing use of permanent, temporary, and subcontracted labor means that many banana workers are not recognized as "employees" under the law and hence receive no protection. Finley contends that multinational corporations contribute to the problem by using guaranteed supply contracts with banana producers in lieu of directly owning plantations. As a result, multinational corporations avoid liability for labor violations by shifting the responsibility to the local producers with whom they contract. The author observes that the Ecuadorian workers might be able to bring lawsuits against the U.S. multinational corporations in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Claims Act. However, because most Ecuadorian workers do not have the time and resources to pursue litigation, Finley contends that the U.S. legislature should suspend aid and benefits to Ecuador to send a strong message of disapproval. Finally, Finley proposes actions that Ecuador and multinational corporations can take to provide the Ecuadorian workforce with the right to organize.

Subjects: Alien Torts Claims Act, Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Contingent Work, World Trade Organization (WTO)
Newsletter: Vol 4, Issue 9
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Frommer, Gail, "Hooray for...Toronto? Hollywood, Collective Bargaining, and Extraterritorial Union Rules in an Era of Globalization", University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law v. 6 no1 (Fall 2003) p. 55-120

Abstract:
This article examines "runaway production ," i.e., the filming of an American film outside the United States , and considers whether it violates § 8(b)(1)(A) of the National Labor Relations Act. Parts I through IV describe the economic reasons for and effects of runaway production. Part V explores the cooperative and long history between employers and unions in the film industry. Part VI outlines efforts by the Hollywood unions to restrain runaway film production, focusing on the Screen Actors Guild's (SAG) Global Rule One, which prohibits any of its members from working for a filmmaker anywhere in the world who does not agree to provide protections in line with SAG's collective bargaining agreement with American filmmakers. Part VII discusses whether Global Rule One violates the Act. The author examines three principles derived from U.S. Supreme Court decisions that bear on the legality of Global Rule One: (1) the presumption against applying statutes outside the territory of the United States, (2) the desire to avoidance of international discord or controversy, and (3) the question whether Global Rule One violates the NLRA's embedded policies. In Part VIII she focuses on the third principle and proposes an analytical framework for resolving disputes between the U.S. and a foreign nation if one were to arise over SAG's enforcement of Global Rule One. The article concludes that there is no clear answer to the questions of whether Global Rule One violates § 8(b)(1)(A) . She opines that the Rule, and the dilemma it creates, reflect the broader problem of American unions' seeking to preserve protection for their negotiated standards when production moves outside the United States.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Extraterritorial Application of Law
Newsletter: Vol 3, Issue 10
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Frost, Anne C. & Kwon, Hyunji & van Jaarsveld, Danielle, "The Effects of Institutional and Organizational Characteristics on Work Force Flexibility: Evidence from Call Centers in Three Liberal Market Economies", Industrial and Labor Relations Review v. 62 no4 (July 2009) p. 573-599

Abstract:
In this article, the authors report on a study of the effects of legal, organizational and institutional differences between the U.S., U.K., and Canada on numerical and functional labor flexibility. In contrast to previous studies that focused on the manufacturing industry, here the focus is on call centers, where high turnover and non-standard work arrangements abound.The authors found higher rates of dismissal in the U.S., a trend that was negatively correlated with the use of temporary and part-time employment. The authors hypothesize that weaker lay-off protections in the U.S. result in more dismissals, while in the U.K. and Canada, employers adapt to stiffer job protection laws by using more temporary and part-time work. The authors also hypothesize that a strong union presence leads to fewer dismissals, but more non-standard employment arrangements, while outsourcing centers will lead to more of both. Their study confirms that union presence decreases lay-offs and non-standard arrangements and that outsourced centers lead to at least more part-time workers.The authors also find that numerical and functional flexibility are negatively related in the U.S. and Canada, but not in the U.K.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Comparative Labor Law, Flexibilization
Newsletter: Vol 11, Issue 7
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Gould, William B. IV, "Globalization in Collective Bargaining, Baseball, and Matsuzaka: Labor and Antitrust Law on the Diamond", Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal v. 28 (2007) p. 283-315

Abstract:
This article discusses the increasing globalization of professional baseball by focusing on the 1999 U.S.-Japan Protocol and some of its likely implications for the development of international labor law. Negotiated between Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and its counterpart, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan, the Protocol significantly inhibits the transfer of players from one league to the other by prohibiting teams in one country from making direct contact with a player in the other country for the purpose of negotiating an employment agreement. Instead, during specific time periods, a team may contact the Commissioner of the foreign league, who will then seek approval by the club which employs that player. To obtain approval even to initiate negotiations, the club seeking to acquire the foreign player must make payments to employing club – at times rivaling the amount that is ultimately paid to the player himself – in return for exclusive rights to negotiate with the player. The fees paid to a foreign club dramatically diminishes salary prospects for Japanese players, since it adds considerable "overhead" to the cost of acquiring a foreign player. It also diminishes the overall pool of funds that, in theory, could be devoted to the wages of players in the U.S through collective bargaining. The article points out that, because the Protocol was negotiated without the involvement of the Major League Baseball Players Association, the collective bargaining agent for players in the United States, it is unlikely that it falls under an exemption to the Sherman Antitrust Act for labor unions. Moreover, because it affects the salaries of Major League Baseball players, it is likely that it constitutes either an unlawful refusal to bargain, in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, or a grievance under the MLB/MLBPA collective bargaining agreement. Although prior to signing with a club in the U.S., Japanese players are neither employed by a domestic employer nor working in the United States, decisional law allows the National Labor Relations Board to assert extraterritorial jurisdiction where the labor dispute would have a significant effect on commerce within the United States.

Subjects: Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Collective Bargaining, Japan, Labor Mobility
Newsletter: Vol 7, Issue 1
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Hambrick, David, "Reconsidering Extraterritoriality: U.S. Labor Law, Transnational Organizing, and the Globalization of the Airline Industry", Columbia Journal of Transnational Law v. 47 (2009) p. 576-608

Abstract:
Focusing on the airline industry, this Note explains that the courts’ current approaches to regulating transnational secondary labor organizing are underdeveloped and inconsistent. Unions in the airline industry engage in transnational organizing in order to counteract the power of international air carriers to lower wages and diminish work rules by selectively utilizing different national flight crews. The author argues that courts should adopt a balancing approach that accounts for both U.S. and foreign interests in determining the legality of transnational secondary activity. Part I introduces the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the statute regulating collective bargaining in the airline industry. This section presents two issues that will likely be addressed by the Supreme Court or Congress in the near future: 1) whether secondary activity in the airline industry can be enjoined, and 2) whether foreign secondary activity can be regulated under U.S. labor law. Part II explores the scope of the RLA and discusses the current conflict between circuits regarding the application of the RLA to transnational secondary activity both within the United States and abroad. The author explains that the courts’ current views regarding the proper reach of the RLA is troubled by a vague definition of “extraterritorial,” and uncertainty over whether the statute applies in situations in which there is some activity in the U.S. and some abroad. Part III explains the U.S. and foreign interests at stake and argues that these interests require a balancing approach to determine when the RLA reaches transnational secondary activity. In the Conclusion, Hambrick acknowledges the limits of such a balancing approach, but argues that it is ultimately the best way to determine whether the RLA should apply to situations involving transnational secondary activity.

Subjects: Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Extraterritorial Application of Law, Secondary Strikes and Boycotts
Newsletter: Vol 9, Issue 12
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Hernandez-Truyol, Berta & Larson, Jane E., "Sexual Labor and Human Rights", Columbia Human Rights Law Review v. 37 (Winter 2006) p. 391-445

Abstract:
This article deconstructs the false binary polarizing debates on prostitution as either consensual or coercive. This polarity derives from liberal political theory, which contrasts contract work- purportedly consensual and therefore non-exploitative-to slavery. But this view misinterprets prostitution's social realities, which has aspects of both work and servitude. Thus, rather than debating prostitution's "essential nature," the authors define it as work and ask what are just and human conditions for it. This "labor paradigm" calls for locally-grounded empirical work about conditions of sexual labor in order to determine how it should be regulated. The authors contend that the ILO's four core human rights for labor pertain specifically to sex work and should be enforced as such.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Sex Workers, Women’s Rights
Newsletter: Vol 5, Issue 12
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || 
 
James, Phil & Johnstone, Richard & Quinlan, Michael & Walters David, "Regulating Supply Chains to Improve Health and Safety ", Industrial Law Journal v. 36 (2007) p. 163-187

Abstract:
This article explores some of the health and safety implications of "externalization," meaning the shift of production from large, integrated multi-department firms to a series of typically smaller, undercapitalized suppliers and subcontractors which many observers have identified as a prominent feature of the new, "boundaryless" workplace. The authors suggest that there are both sound theoretical and empirical reasons for concluding that outsourcing and subcontracting supply chains reduces communication and seriously complicates overall risk management assessments, results in lower levels of supervision and training on health and safety issues, undercuts unions and other forms of collective workplace "voice" which typically play a crucial role in monitoring health and safety compliance, and limits resources available for investment in health and safety measures. They cite studies from various European Union countries indicating that the fatal and major injury rates in small firms are roughly double those of large and medium-sized firms. Studies of efforts to regulate supply chains in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia suggest that such laws can have positive effect, but that they are often too limited in scope or underutilized. The authors advocate a targeted approach focusing specifically on those industries and sectors relying on "externalized" production and the increased use of temporary employment in hazardous working conditions. In their view, the "asymmetrical power relationships" between smaller enterprises and the larger organizations at the top of the supply chain make the latter well-suited for exerting positive influence and ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations throughout the supply chain through their ability to terminate or withhold contracts.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, European Union, Health and Safety, Outsourcing
Newsletter: Vol 6, Issue 5
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Judge, John, "International Employment Discrimination and Racketeering in the Global Economy", Texas Bar Journal v. 72 no3 (2009) p. 192-199

Abstract:
This article examines the legal implications of a particular business model favored by international carriers: affiliating with a foreign corporation (usually Mexican), who then hires truckers to do work for the carrier within the United States. In most cases, the net pay to the imported drivers is just above half of what the carrier would be paying U.S. drivers, making it a quite lucrative tool for carriers. However, the author notes several problems with such a model. First, it may involve violations of federal and Texas employment discrimination laws by paying lower wages based on national origin. Second, it may violate U.S. immigration laws by breaking the provisions of B-1 Visitor for Business visas. Third, the activity may constitute racketeering, providing for criminal penalties and civil damage awards. Finally, carriers who engage in such a model may be violating the tax law for failure to pay state and federal payroll taxes. Thus while it is tempting for a carrier corporation, such a business model should be rejected in order to avoid a plethora of potential liabilities.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Immigration, Labor Mobility, NAFTA/GATT, Outsourcing, Undocumented Workers, Workplace Discrimination
Newsletter: Vol 9, Issue 8
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Kaeb, Caroline, "Emerging Issues of Human Rights Responsibility in the Extractive and Manufacturing Industries: Patterns and Liability Risks", Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights v. 6 no387 (Spring 2008) p. 1-85

Abstract:
This article provides case studies from several countries on patterns of human rights abuses by multi-national corporations (MNCs) in the extractive and manufacturing industries. The author argues that in the extractive industries, human rights abuses are typically committed by government security forces or government authorities of the host country, often at the request oil or mining corporations. The degree of corporate liability, either in civil litigation in the United States or through criminal prosecutions in European courts, tends to depend upon the proximity and kind of relationship between the corporations and the host government's security forces. By contrast, human rights abuses within manufacturing industries abroad mostly involve allegations of abuse within the corporate production and supply chain, and mostly pertain to the situation in the workplace, including allegations of forced labor, child labor and violations of the international labor standards pertaining to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The author concludes that MNCs in both sectors have increasingly accepted responsibility for human rights abuses and adopted various voluntary corporate codes of conduct.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Child Labor, Corporate Accountability, Corporate Codes of Conduct
Newsletter: Vol 7, Issue 7
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || WWW || 
 
Konek, Tiana, "Corporations and Human Rights Law: The Emerging Consensus and its Effects on Women's Employment Rights", Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender v. 17 no2 (Winter 2011) p. 261-295

Abstract:
This article argues that the state-centered nature of international law means that corporations are not sufficiently held accountable for violating international human rights law. Part I uses the female-dominated garment industry to illustrate this governance gap. It that industry, intense competition between contractors, an abundant labor supply, and gendered notions surrounding the occupation have all contributed to job insecurity and abuse in the workplace. In Part II, the author surveys the field of international soft law on corporate responsibility which, though non-binding, could serve as building blocks for binding law. In Part III, the author claims that there is a consensus emerging out of the existing instruments of international corporate responsibility that includes core labor standards. However, the author notes that these core labor standards leave out gender-specific rights and fail to consider women's particular workplace experience. Fortunately, the author concludes, the consensus may be evolving toward a more gender-inclusive human rights paradigm.

Subjects: Anti-Discrimination, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Corporate Accountability, Labor Rights as Human Rights, Women’s Rights
Newsletter: Vol 11, Issue 3
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Labadie-Jackson, Glenda, "Reflections on Domestic Work and the Feminization of Migration", Campbell Law Review v. 31 no1 (Fall 2008) p. 67-90

Abstract:
This article begins by describing the modern trend whereby women in countries that lack policies to help facilitate a work-life balance pass household responsibilities onto domestic workers. Domestic workers, in turn, pass their own domestic and reproductive labor onto close female relatives. The author notes that due to a seemingly universal view of domestic labor as feminine, men are largely missing from this “global care chain.” The article then summarizes how modern globalization has fueled a recent surge in immigration, particularly female labor migrants. In analyzing conditions of domestic work, the article depicts some common traits: low pay, low hours, physical and psychological abuse, isolation, and job insecurity. Reasons for such poor labor conditions, according to the author, include: perceptions of domestic work as a “private matter,” casual employment conditions, and failure to regulate domestic labor on a domestic and international level. The article concludes by stressing the need to implement current international worker protections, as well as develop domestic protections that would cover domestic workers.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Employment Law, Immigration, Women’s Rights
Newsletter: Vol 10, Issue 1
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Lin, Li-Wen, "Legal Transplants through Private Contracting: Codes of Vendor Conduct in Global Supply Chains as an Example", American Journal of Comparative Law v. 57 (2009) p. 711

Abstract:
The author argues that codes of vendor conduct in international supply chains function as legal transplants. Legal transplants occur when laws, rules, or legal structures are transplanted from one country to another. The author identifies two ways in which transplantation occurs: through ‘hard’ approaches such as the rules that the European Union and World Trade Organization impose upon their members, and through ‘soft’ approaches such as model codes of conduct. In the globalized economy, non-state actors can also transplant laws. The author argues that vendor codes of conduct, which large corporations such as Gap and Wal-Mart use to determine supplier eligibility, are examples of transplanted laws. These transplanted quasi-legal regulations are especially effective in countries where legal systems are weak and the sanction of losing business is a greater threat than sanctions imposed by law. The author argues that codes of vendor conduct often set the template for labor laws in developing nations, and thus should be strengthened to address the labor issues in such countries.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Corporate Codes of Conduct, Trade Conditionality
Newsletter: Vol 13, Issue 3
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || 
 
Locke, Richard M., "Fei Qin and Alberto Brause, Does Monitoring Improve Labor Standards? Lessons from Nike", Industrial and Labor Relations Review v. 61 no3 (2007) p. 3-31

Abstract:
This article uses data from over 800 of Nike's suppliers in 51 countries to determine whether the system of "private, voluntary regulation" in place at some major multinational corporations actually promotes positive changes in the working conditions of global supply chains and, if so, under what conditions. The study first examines variations in working conditions among Nike's suppliers and then attempts to determine what factors account for the greatly varying working conditions across factories producing more or less the same products for the same brand. It also asks whether working conditions in Nike's suppliers are improving over time. The study finds that variations in working conditions across factories appear to be the result of at least three sets of variables: (1) country effects (the government labor inspectorate's ability or inability to enforce labor laws and standards in the country in which the factory is located), (2) factory characteristics, such as the age and size of the factory (with smaller factories employing fewer than 1000 workers generally having better labor standards), and (3) the relationship between Nike and the particular supplier (whether the supplier is a strategic partner, how often Nike's non-compliance staff visit and interact with the factory, and who else is sourcing product from the same factory). The study concludes that, "despite substantial efforts and investments by Nike and its staff to improve working conditions among its suppliers, monitoring alone appears to have produced only limited results." The authors suggest that what is needed is a more systemic approach that combines both external pressure from the state, labor unions, or labor-rights NGOs with internal measures, including comprehensive, transparent monitoring systems and a variety of "management systems" interventions aimed at eliminating root causes of poor working conditions.

Subjects: Case Studies: Company-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Corporate Accountability, Corporate Governance
Newsletter: Vol 6, Issue 11
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || 
 
Macdonald, Terry & Macdonald, Kate, "Non-electoral Accountability in Global Politics: Strengthening Democratic Control Within the Global Garment Industry", European Journal of International Law v. 17 (February 2006) p. 89-119

Abstract:
This article argues that legitimate forms of governance are possible on a global scale even though global elections -- the traditional mechanism for instituting democracies -- are pragmatically impossible. The authors cite the case of transnational NGO and union solidarity actions on behalf of Nicaraguan garment workers to illustrate the potential for non-electoral forms of accountability in global industry. Specifically, they argue that mechanisms disclosing the identity of corporate executives and sanctioning them for violating "stakeholder" preferences constitute "embryonic attempts to construct new institutional mechanisms" to hold corporations accountable. Whereas global elections would be impossible to institute, these innovations point to alternative routes to the normative goal of legitimate, global democracy.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Corporate Accountability, Corporate Governance
Newsletter: Vol 6, Issue 11
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || 
 
McCann, Deirdre, "New Frontiers of Regulation: Domestic Work, Working Conditions, and the Holistic Assessment of Nonstandard Work Norms", Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal v. 34 (Fall 2012) p. 167-192

Abstract:
The author argues for a reframing of the analyses on the laws and regulations that protect non-standard, or domestic, workers. Recent regulatory intervention has triggered a debate as to whether European Union norms, extended to domestic workers through the International Labour Organization’s Domestic Worker’s Convention of 2001, are appropriate or sufficient to address the myriad human rights and labor concerns of domestic workers. Policy makers are beginning to respond by creating regulations that apply only to domestic and non-standard workers. The author argues that these regulations affect the conditions of domestic work at least as profoundly as labor laws that apply to the general workforce. She argues that when policy makers and scholars consider the conditions of domestic work, discussion should include the specific laws, policies, norms and regulations that affect domestic workers in particular, with attention to how those regulations continue to shape such work. This holistic approach would force policy makers and scholars consider whether broad norms or specific regulations are more effective in improving working conditions of domestic workers.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, International Labour Organization (ILO), Social & Economic Rights
Newsletter: Vol 12, Issue 6
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || 
 
McDonald, Adrian, "Through the Looking Glass: Runaway Productions and Hollywood Economics", University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law v. 9 (2007) p. 879-984

Abstract:
This article discusses the problem of "runaway production," i.e., the production of films that were conceptually developed in the United States, but filmed elsewhere. It attributes the phenomenon to the transformation in the movie industry that has occurred over the last 50 years whereby the movie studios have become subordinate parts of multinational media conglomerates such as News Corp., Viacom, America Online-Time Warner, and Disney. The author argues that labor costs are generally not a consideration in the movement of filming from the U.S. to Canada, because Canadian labor costs are comparable to those in the U.S. Rather, he identifies other incentives such as tax breaks granted by the Canadian government as the lure for film makers. By contrast, labor costs apparently are a factor in the movement of film production within the United States, typically from the major media markets in California or New York to "right to work" states, where non-union pay and benefits are as much as 83% less than in unionized settings. The article discusses the different solutions to runaway production proposed by industry and labor groups. The Directors Guild of American and major industry groups advocate greater federal, state and local subsidies to the motion picture industry to counter the effect of Canadian tax breaks. Alternatively, the Film and Television Action Committee (FTAC), a single-issue group composed of the major Hollywood unions, city governments and businesses that depend on film production, argues that Canada's tax breaks violate U.S. trade agreements. FTAC has threatened to file a petition with the U.S. Trade Representative and the WTO.

Subjects: Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Trade Agreements, World Trade Organization (WTO)
Newsletter: Vol 6, Issue 11
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Nickson, Matthew, "Closing U.S. Courts to Foreign Seamen: The Judicial Exclusion of the FAA Seamen's Arbitration Exemption from the New York Convention Act", Texas International Law Journal v. 41 (2006) p. 103-172

Abstract:
This article criticizes Francisco and Bautista, two recent decisions by federal appeals courts in which foreign seaman bringing tort claims against their employers for workplace injuries were forced to have their cases heard before an arbitrator, pursuant to mandatory arbitration clauses included in their employment contracts and the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The author argues that these decisions run counter to what had previously been well-settled law, including an express provision in the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) making non-waivable the right of seamen to sue in the forum of their choice for employment contracts. The author notes that, since 1790, U.S. Admiralty law has recognized that seamen are deserving of greater judicial solicitude because of their special vulnerability as workers . The author contends that these decisions will negatively impact mostly low-wage foreign seamen from countries such as the Philippines, where all maritime employment contracts are required to include arbitration clauses. The author raises the concern that these decisions will pave the way for excluding the claims of other workers from U.S. courts, since the language of the FAA's exemption, which was severely limited by these decisions, applies to "seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce."

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Conflict of Laws, Extraterritorial Application of Law
Newsletter: Vol 7, Issue 8
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Pagnattaro, Marisa Anne, "Enforcing International Labor Standards: The Potential of the Alien Tort Claims Act", Vanderbilt Journal of Transanational Law v. 37 no203 (2004) p. 203-263

Abstract:
This article asks where workers can go for protection of labor standards. In Part I, the author argues that US courts should recognize that the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) includes torts committed in connection with freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, prohibitions on child labor, and discrimination. Thus, ATCA can be used to enforce core labor rights under the law of nations. Part II sketches ATCA's history and narrates seven major cases, including four brought against multinational corporations by the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF). Part III shows that foreign workers can hold multinationals liable under ATCA for violating the law of nations. Part IV lists treaties that can be used to constitute law of nations violations in the areas of human and labor rights, extra judicial murder and genocide, torture, kidnapping, slavery, freedom of association, collective bargaining, child labor and discrimination. Part V outlines four challenges to ATCA claims and Part VI gives their counter-defenses. In Part VII, the author argues that free trade will not automatically improve labor rights. While it is admirable that courts have interpreted the law of nations to include general human rights, now they should recognize its torts connected to core labor rights.

Subjects: Alien Torts Claims Act, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Labor Rights in General (Misc.)
Newsletter: Vol 5, Issue 7
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Pietrolungo, Kathryn E. & Tinkham, Brian, "Global Rule One: Sag's Answer To Runaway Production", Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas v. 9 (2003) p. 357-390

Abstract:
This article explores Global Rule One, a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) provision primarily used to prevent Hollywood producers from leaving California to pursue projects in less expensive countries. Part II provides an overview of SAG and Global Rule One, focusing on why SAG felt it necessary to implement this protectionist rule. Part III examines the three possible methods by which SAG may attempt to enforce Global Rule One in foreign locations. Part IV reviews the implementation of the rule in Australia as an example of how SAG could approach implementation in other countries. Part V focuses on the future of Global Rule One and possible legislation that will encourage producers to remain in the U.S. and end runaway film production.

Subjects: Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Extraterritorial Application of Law
Newsletter: Vol 3, Issue 9
 
Reichman, Daniel, "Justice at a Price: Regulation and Alienation in the Global Economy", Political and Legal Anthropology Review v. 31 (2008) p. 102-117

Abstract:
This article compares and contrasts three aspects of the international coffee trade violence by landless Honduran families against the foreign and absentee owner of a coffee farm, fair trade consumerism in the global North, and the now defunct system of wage and price controls of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) that have collapsed under increasingly globalized market condition since1989 to suggest that structural changes in the relationship between states brought on by globalization have led citizens to attempt to impose collective principles on economic behavior through new, albeit partial and alienated, forms of regulation outside the boundaries of the nation-state. The author sees the popular violence in Honduras and the increasing preoccupation with"fair trade" coffee in the North as symptoms of the demise of the ICA; in the absence of regulation by laws, treaties and states, people resort to localized and highly individualized behaviors to comprehend their role as moral actors within the impersonal global market. Despite their emphasis on moral affirmation and personal responsibility, the author sees these forms of political subjectivity as inadequate to the task of regulating the global economy in the interest of social solidarity.

Subjects: Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Corporate Accountability, NAFTA/GATT, Trade Agreements, Trade Conditionality
Newsletter: Vol 7, Issue 11
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Vachhani, Radha Tilva, "Côte d'Ivoire and India: Stricter Enforcement and Unanimous Compliance Required to End Child Labor", New England Journal of International and Comparative Law v. 15 (2009) p. 125-150

Abstract:
This article focuses on child labor in India's beedi cigarette industry and Côte d'Ivoire's cocoa industry. In Côte d'Ivoire, the author reports that child labor is widespread in the cocoa industry despite the country's strict labor laws. The author argues that the government industry tasked with enforcement has hindered national efforts to enforce these laws. Child labor is also prevalent in the making of beedi cigarettes in India, with many children being bonded into labor to pay family debts. India has laws forbidding most forms of child labor, but due to loopholes and lack of enforcement, child labor is still prominent. In response to these evils, all three branches of the U.S. government are working to eliminate consumer demand for products made with child labor. However, the enforcement mechanisms are weak, so the practice goes on. To remedy this, the author advocates stronger enforcement mechanisms in the relevant international instruments.

Subjects: Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Child Labor, Forced Labor, India
Newsletter: Vol 11, Issue 5
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS || 
 
Young, Isaac, "Shut Up and Sing: The Rights of Japanese Teachers in an Era of Conservative Education Reform", Cornell International Law Journal v. 41 no1 (Winter 2009) p. 158-192

Abstract:
This article discusses the prospects of Japanese teachers who wish to abstain from singing Kimigayo, the Japanese national anthem, at public school ceremonies. As a result of conservative-led efforts since WWII, the Japanese Ministry of Education (MOE) was successful in passing guidelines requiring that schools hang the Hinomaru, the Japanese national flag, and that students and teachers sing the Kimigayo. However, some teachers have objected to these practices, primarily because they associate the flag and anthem with Japanese aggression in WWII and see the MOE policies as advancing a conservative, perhaps arrogant, Japan-centered worldview. The author analyzes the plight of 228 teachers disciplined for failing to sing the Kimigayo whose case is likely to end up before the Japanese Supreme Court. Even though the teachers prevailed in a Tokyo District Court, Young gives several reasons for thinking the Supreme Court will rule against them. Because the Court has been extremely reluctant to find that government actions violate the Constitution. Further, the Court has been especially deferent to government action towards public servants such as these teachers. Finally, even if the Court rules for the teachers in this instance, recent conservative reforms to the Fundamental Law of Education (FLE) indicate that the teachers’ right to abstain from singing would be short-lived. As a result of this likely ruling, Young argues, teachers’ speech will be chilled and Japanese society will be less open and democratic.

Subjects: Case Studies: Country-Specific, Case Studies: Industry-Specific, Employment Law, Japan
Newsletter: Vol 9, Issue 10
Full-text links: || WESTLAW || LEXIS-NEXIS ||