Protecting workers from the effects of globalization

In the current highly-competitive global environment, it is difficult for workers in developing countries to improve their wages and conditions, because to do so may cause companies to relocate and jobs to disappear. Workers find themselves in a position where there is a trade-off between wages and jobs - as wages go up, jobs tend to go elsewhere. The ability of investors to relocate has given employers enormous bargaining power vis-à-vis workers. The threat of plant closure is usually enough to undermine most claims for better wages or conditions.

Globalization policies lead to a number of negative outcomes, including a sharp increase in unemployment in both North and South, as work is increasingly mechanized and automated, as corporate farming and biotechnology replace traditional small-scale agriculture, and as corporate activity becomes more mobile, unrestricted, opaque and unaccountable.

1. McDonald's employs more than a million mostly young people around the world: some say a million people who might otherwise be out of work, others however consider that they are in fact a net destroyer of jobs by using low wages and the huge size of their business to undercut local food outlets and thereby force them out of business.

2. In a global economy in which countries obtain investment and jobs on the basis of their comparative advantage, the comparative advantage which poorer countries have is their poverty, the fact that they have an abundance of people working for next to nothing.

Planetary initiatives
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies