Transnational Industrial Democracy? Labor Movements, Multinational Companies and Trade Agreements

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
In an increasingly globalized world and digital economy is employee participation and the regulation of employment relations going to remain at the national level or is a form of industrial and representative democracy possible beyond national borders?

This presentation proposes to contribute to the debate about what kind of voice, democracy or participation employees have when they work for a global company, by addressing the issue at the transnational level, i.e. by analyzing the representation of workers/employees at the level of transnational companies and thus the consequences of globalization in terms of the democratization, or lack of democracy, of employment relations.

The presentation will first focus on the history and current configuration of transnational labor organizations. It will then map strategies and outcomes regarding employee representation at the transnational company level as well as the negotiation of collective agreements with transnational companies. It will further analyze labor strategies regarding the introduction of labor clauses in international trade agreements as well as the articulation of strategies between the national and transnational levels.

The conclusion intends to further the reflection about industrial democracy by identifying the implications, challenges and obstacles of taking the notion from the national to the transnational level.