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October 20, 2007

Undue Influence

Undue influence: corporations gain ground in battle over China's new labor law - but human rights and labor advocates are pushing back, March 2007 (link via Clean Clothes Campaign newsletter)

Global Labor Strategies has produced a paper concerning the behind-the-scenes battle that is raging over reforms in China's labour law. U.S.-based and other global corporations have been aggressively lobbying the Chinese government to weaken or abandon significant pro-worker reforms it had proposed in March 2006. In opposition are pro-worker rights forces in China, backed by labour, human rights, and political forces in the U.S. and around the world. Corporate lobbying has already resulted in a weakening of the proposed new law. However, US corporate groups have launched an unpublicised new attack demanding further amendment. The authors see the current focus on the role of global corporations in China as evidence of a "new paradigm" for analysing current forms of globalisation. Increasingly, they argue, the debate is not about free trade versus protectionism, but about the activities of a global "sweatshop lobby", which is deliberately shaping labour law and labour markets around the world.

Posted by cat at 01:43 PM