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Protecting the Workforce

A Defense of Workers' Rights in Global Supply Chains

Marquita R. Walker



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Lexington Books
15 July 2021
This book showcases the inequalities experienced between the Global North and the Global South by exploring the production and distribution model of goods and services worldwide through an analysis of why the structure, framework, and interconnectedness of global supply chains increases the persistence of worker rights' violations. The narrative explains the power relationships between multinational corporations, their subcontractors, governments, non-governmental organizations, labor unions, and workers. The text focuses primarily on competition between workers in the Global South and the Global North who are compelled to work in global supply chains for their survival and takes a macro-look at how global supply chains operate, how they are governed, who invests and why, and who wins and who loses. From the workers' perspective, the text highlights the millions of low-wage workers who suffer exploitation and abuse at the hands of greedy multi-national corporations who are able to distance themselves from any liability for workers' welfare through an institutional system created by national/state governments, trade agreements, and tax and investment strategies which protect property rights over workers' rights. The fragile plight of workers crescendos through examples of exploitation and abuse in the fishing, mining, apparel, electronic and manufacturing industries, focusing events of workplace disasters, and slave-like working conditions, then climaxes by providing strategies to help strengthen workers through legislative and policy initiatives, collective action, and social and public pressure.
Imprint:   Lexington Books
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 218mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   304g
ISBN:   9781498599122
ISBN 10:   1498599125
Pages:   192
Publication Date:  
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
1: How the Evolution of Global Supply Chains Exploits Workers 2: The Regulatory Framework 3: The Development of Global Supply Chains 4: The Fragmentation of Work in GSCs 5: How Industrial Tragedies Foster Policy 6: Corporate Social Responsibility 7: Political and Legal Strategies to Regulate Global Supply Chains 8: Strategies and Tools to Promote Workers' Rights in Global Supply Chains

Marquita R. Walker is associate professor in the Department of Labor Studies, School of Social Work, at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Reviews for Protecting the Workforce: A Defense of Workers' Rights in Global Supply Chains

In this important book Dr. Marquita Walker draws on her own union experience and a large body of research to make a convincing case: that workers' rights will never be achieved as long as corporations are left to rely on so-called Corporate Social Responsibility, a trust me approach in which businesses self-regulate their global supply chains. In a series of clearly-written chapters she takes us through the complex operation of the global economy today, in which, as she succinctly puts it, the deck is very much slanted against workers. Yet she also points to a way forward, drawing on the promise of international worker-led corporate campaigns, legal agreements, and technological advances such as social media. -- Richard P. Appelbaum, University of California, Santa Barbara A Defense of Workers by Dr Walker is a must read, not only by students but by multi stakeholders throughout the GSC. She peels back the layers of complexities to explain the why and the possible paths forward. Her passion for workers' rights brings life, hope and strategy to the global challenge of improving the lives of workers. -- Anna Burger, Cornell University Walker's book is an excellent primer for students on global logistics, whether utlilized in a college of business or social science course. The clear and accessible definitions of theories and concepts range from Fordism and cultural hegemony to foreign investment and the evolution of regulation and international oversight, all while keeping workers at the center of the narrative. Walker's analysis of global supply chains starts with the advent of capitalism through the latest 2018 spate of deregulation, with explicit learning outcomes for students in each chapter. While laying out the pressures for a race to the bottom in environmental and worker protection that continue under non-binding self-policing regulation, Walker details the social movements initiated by local and global trade unions as well as international bodies to curb excesses and even reorganize production. It doesn't have to be this way is a refrain repeated at the end of chapters, with an explanation of what is in the realm of the possible. This book fills a gap in the literature on GSC, complementing Klein's Shock Doctrine. Taught in conjunction with critical perspectives on colonialism and racial hierarchies, Walker's book is an important contribution to global studies. -- Vivian Price, California State University, Dominguez Hills

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