April: workers in the global economy and trade policy

We bring debates and activities that shape the work of the FES network pushing against the adverse effects of global trade

The integration of markets in the global economy has changed the nature of international trade. Describing globalization, this process of market integration is certainly no news to us all. Yet, it continues to have detrimental consequences, putting downward pressure on worker’s rights, the overall welfare and even the future of democracy in developing and developed countries.

Proponents from the right political spectrum, ride on the coattails of these negative effects to push for nationalist and corporate agendas, claiming that isolation and tax cuts can do good where harm was done. The latest proposal by the Trump administration to slash corporate tax is a far cry from a democratic solution to the adverse effects of globalization, experienced also by the citizens living in one of the world’s most developed countries. 

Take for example, transnational corporations. Responsible for approximately 80 per cent of global trade flow, they resist binding rules when it comes to human and workers' rights, where they generally call for self-regulation and as few contractual obligations as possible.

While transnationals’ interests are protected by investment regulations that governments tolerate, extreme working hours, inadequate pay, gender-based violence and restrictions on labour rights are common features of the daily conditions within global supply chains. And that’s not all! For decades now, inadequate regulations and lack of transparency in global trade flows have allowed for legal tax avoidance, but also tax evasion on a massive scale.

In this issue, we bring debates and activities that shape the work of the FES network pushing against the adverse effects of global trade with well-equipped trade unions, reformed policies and binding regulations.

And as we commemorate the thousands of victims who have suffered injuries or lost their lives at work we call for a #safeday!

Read on, share, engage, and tweet us an image from May Day @FESnewsbrief!

Your FES Connect Editorial Team

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