Workers of the Globalized World: Explaining Difference in Workers' Attitudes to Globalization

Monday, July 14, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: Annex F205
Oral Presentation
Agnes AKKERMAN , VU University Amsterdam, amsterdam, Netherlands
Giedo JANSEN , Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
Alex LEHR , Radboud University, Netherlands
Andrej ZASLOVE , radboud university nijmegen, Netherlands
Workers of the Globalized World: Explaining Difference in Workers’ Attitudes to Globalization

Without any doubt globalization affects the life and work of workers. Increasing international trade and labor mobility poses challenges to individual workers. Labor movements’ response to these developments  are to protect national (and regional) labor markets through further regulation of labor markets, in order to soften the blow for those workers who are the ‘losers of globalization’. However, workers  are heterogeneous and the way in which globalization affects the life of workers is not equal for all workers: some groups of workers will have a lot to gain from globalization.   

How do workers perceive the effects of globalization? In this paper we explain individual workers’ attitudes towards the impact of economic globalization on several aspects, such as their selves and his/her family, the organization they work for,  national employment. We explain their attitudes by demographics, labor market positions, occupational variables and political affiliation and attitudes. 

After a review of the literature, we formulate hypotheses on which workers will perceive globalization as a negative development and which workers will feel that globalizations is a positive development for different aspects of their lives, their career and employment.

For the empirical analysis we use data from the web based survey “Distributional Conflict in a Globalized World, 2011”, a representative survey of the Dutch population (N=600).

Our study contributes to our understanding of the consequences of globalization by analyzing individual level attitudes of workers. In an era of continued trade union decline, knowledge of different types of workers attitudes towards globalization may better enable the labor movement to represent the interest of all workers.  Knowing which workers view globalization as a threat, and for whom globalization offers opportunities, helps labor organizations to developed more  informed and differentiated mobilization campaigns .