Essay on Challenges Globalization Presents to Trade Unions

Globalization has brought up the whole world into one village. This to trade union movements has been a stiff challenge. Based on many researches which have been conducted, the economies in every country vary and thus standardization of wages by the trade union has become a hard nut to crack in times of global restructuring (Bieler, Andreas, & Ingemar L. 2010). Trade unions have tried to fight for workers’ right but consolidating many labor movements has not been easy. This challenge has rendered many attempts by trade union to futile. As results some laborers have started moving out of the union terming it has not championing fully for their rights.

Globally, there exist many kinds of trade movements. Trade union has had it rough trying to control the functioning of all these types of trade movements. Globalization of production is directly proportional to the move towards outsourcing of parts of production to sub-contractors. Outsourcing which is globally used is a work which is not formal and has no contract. Thus those who are in outsourcing work are not part of the trade union and thus are hard to bring to order. Existence of many companies has made it even more difficult for trade unions to control the production process.

Another obstacle to trade union is the political differences among countries. This has been common especially to developing countries. An example is East African Trade Union Council in the East African region which has been there for almost fifteen (15) years. In 2006 it became a confederation with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The notion to give a confederation effective appears to escalate as the East African countries comes closer to a political federation on 2012. While the notion of a labor federation comes before that of a political federation, this means that the political agendas have outstripped other important matters like labor. Indeed other regional bodies like the East African Business Association (EBA) and the East African Professional Association (EAPA) are thriving. Yet the move towards a working transnational trade union organization seems slow and far-fetched (Clayton, A.H. & Savage, D.C. 1974).

 Ways in which trade union should respond to these challenges:

Trade unions should think outside the box by enlarging their ideas. They ought to initiate engagement with international organizations so as to broaden their policy influence, organizing global campaigns and expanding their territory at the transnational level. The union is currently engaging with large bodies like International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other bodies to promote a fair globalization. For instance, after 1990s, global union leaders have been campaigning for the inclusion of the ILO core labor standards in World Bank lending and procurement practices (Cooper, F. 1987). This has so far been successful. In May 2006 the International Finance Corporation (IFC) makes it a policy that all enterprises borrowing from the IFC abide by the core labor standards. In December 2006 the World Bank publicize that it would extend the core labor standards requirement to public works projects financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association.

Trade union should campaign for their inclusion in political arms of every country. This will ensure that they are part of all decision making. This idea will also help the trade union to integrates their policies to accommodate the global village.

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