|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Supply chain management|
International Labour Standards are a set of conventions produced by the ILO constituents, which are governments, employers, and employees. These regulations were created to establish a list of principles and rights needs to be followed at work, which helps to protect rights of employees and provide high-level working conditions. International Labour Organisation aims to decrease the level of aggression and to bully in the workplace, discrimination regarding nationality, race and gender and any other inequalities, that might happen in the workplace.
All aims and objectives were set in 1919 in the preamble to its constitution, and it states, that "lasting peace can be established only in case if it based on the social upon" (Encyclopedia, 2013). ILO conventions are divided into two groups, where the first group are "legally binding international treaties" authorized by ILO member state, otherwise second group, which are non-mandatory recommendations (IOE, 2018). All of the conventions are considered and accepted at the International Labor Conference, therefore member states are required to direct them to the local authorities for consideration and ratification to be introduced to National Law(IOE, 2018).
Global Supply Chain is a dynamic worldwide network, which involves "function of the entire supply chain as an integrated whole" with the objectives providing high-level customer service, while to be cost efficient as possible and operate on global world trade (Roy, 2017). Due to the recent years, supply chain security has become more important, rather than in the past, especially for developing economies.
Today, the global economy is driven by global supply chains that help governments, organizations or individuals manage investment, manufacturing or production and trade. Global supply chains are not only complex, diverse, and fragmented, but are also dynamic and evolving organizational structures. Global value chains and global production networks are some of the terms that also used to describe global supply chains. All the above descriptions share a common denominator - cross-border production and trade albeit with minor and different viewpoints.
The growth of global supply chains has been made possible by technology advancement in the field of telecommunications and the expansion of financial services. Unlike long ago, companies and organization operate in real-time as the coordination and manage logistics of production across the globe. In addition, improved infrastructure and transport services have made it possible for final goods and services to be conveyed much faster and reliably at a much lower cost. Lastly, various international trade agreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade among others have helped reduce the cost of doing trade tariff reduction and harmonization frameworks. China and India also continue to play critical roles by supplying cheap human labor to the global economy.
Primarily, the global economy is coordinated and controlled by multinationals or mother companies that are mostly based in the developed world. They are in charge of the global supply chain and also set structures to be observed by firms and businesses in their chain of command. Irrespective where the goods and services are produced from, the mother company has the final say on the sale of the product.
Global supply chains take two forms - intra and inter-enterprise relationships. In the first case, the mother company has direct ownership of cross-border subsidiaries and affiliates. In the second case that involves sourcing, the mother company has property or any direct contractual relationship. However, with time and the increase of export-oriented production strategies, a new development has cropped up. Emerging economies of Asia and Latin America have developed infrastructures that lowered requirements for investment and local content. The national governments started the export processing zones or EPZs with the sole aim of luring foreign investors. As a result, the mother companies were able to outsource standardized labor and other activities worldwide
Global supply chains have created employment opportunities and have contributed immensely to economic growth, especially in developing economies of Asia and Africa. In the same breath, the dynamics of global economics including some global supply chains have been accused of violating certain labor rights where workers work under deplorable conditions. Cocoa farmers low income leads to severe violations of human and labor rights on cocoa farms.
A case in point is the cocoa farm and factory workers in West Africa who get minimal pay, work in appalling conditions, and lack health care. They have also been accused of contravening international child labor laws where children are working under hazardous and abusive situations. Depending on the industry and type of goods and services being produced, global supply chains share common fundamental characteristics. For instance, any global supply chain in manufacturing involves design, production, manufacturing, coordination, distribution, and finally retailing and marketing. In the case of apparel and agriculture products - various suppliers and companies are contracted firms across the globe. In return, different suppliers subcontract offshore and outsourcing firms, linking global and domestic producers.
Labour laws encompass workplace or company laws, a country's labor laws, and international labor laws. Workplace and national labor laws vary from one country to another, but all aspire to subscribe and adhere to international labor laws. These laws pose significant challenges for most countries. Matters are complicated even further when companies and countries have to deal with the dynamics of the globalized economy that is at the mercy of powerful and influential multinationals. In reality, multinationals deploy complicated and different supply chains which make the enforcement of labor legislation difficult.
Of course, labor problems existed in many countries, but labor issues have become more complicated by the emergence of global supply chains in these countries. Labor challenges perpetuated by global supply chains happen when first-tier companies and businesses based in developed world unilaterally makes investment and sourcing pronouncement that eventually impinge on working conditions in their global supply chains or where their subsidiaries are found, mostly in the developing world. The situation is compounded further because these companies are not directly responsible for employment in these counties and therefore make it difficult to pin them down or answerable host countries labor laws.
Another reason why workers in developing counties are enumerated poorly is the stiff competition from rival companies, putting pressures on producer prices and delivery times. This spills downwards to workers as subcontracted companies try to save by paying their workers minimum wages, and also they do not invest in good a good working environment thus violating workers fundamental labor rights. Sometimes exerted pressure is so immense that subcontracted supplier and outsourced firms resort to cheap child labor. As the suppliers continue to be blamed for creating an unfair working condition that does not comply with international standards, the mother company is untouchable, and the law is on their side.
Often, the scope of labor legislation, bylaws, and jurisdiction in countries where suppliers are based is significant; cross-border sourcing of products and services make it impossible for these companies to attain national and international labor compliance at the workplace. Most countries in the developing world are ill-equipped to monitor and enforce labor laws compliance. Some countries are yet to amend labor laws to be in tandem with international labor laws and standards. Besides, most governments in developing world are unable to keep pace with the fast transformation and exposure brought the global economy. The end-result is governance gaps that only favor suppliers.
As much as the national governments would like to be seen to favor its citizen in matters concerning multinationals, their hands are tied up. A few legal limitations work in their disadvantage and therefore cannot enforce legislation from the global supply chain perspective. For instance, legal issues about corporate separateness and limited liability allow mother companies to go scot-free when it comes to violations of labor laws.
However, to strengthen such labor law enforcement, national governments must provide a conducive environment that brings the interested parties together to thrash burning labor issues. But if things do not go as planned, and to save face, national government should invite the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other international bodies and agencies that deal with international labor laws. ILO's is not only mandated to deal with international labor laws but also has the experience and expertise in the world of work. ILO is well positioned to arbitrate and bring various parties together to an agreement on matters that involve supply chains. ILO can also pinpoint best policies and practices that are mutually beneficial to all the parties concerned. At its disposal is the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy Declaration that spells international frameworks that maximizes benefits of global supply chains.
I love going to watch movies during my spare time at weekends and sometimes on weekdays when I am not pressed up for time. Two weeks ago I attended to watch movie called "I, Tonya" an American comedy biographical movie that narrates the story of an American skater, Tonya Harding and her involvement in the 1994 brutal attack on her fellow Olympic competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. Writing the above essay had me thinking, I try to visualize all the people that made the movie happen and made my experience memorable.
Though most blockbuster movies are made in Hollywood, the United States, the majority of U.S. movie production companies use the subcontractors from different parts of the world, mostly from Asia. While watching a movie, I tag along with a bagful of my favorite popcorn to munch. Doing my homework, I found out that the corn is harvested from Brazil and the palm that prepared it is from a West Africa that employs hundreds of workers, may be children. The machine that prepared the popcorn is probably made in Hungary. The seat I sat on probably made from Eastern Europe. I rode on a bus that assembled in Mexico with different parts made from other parts of the world. These parts were shipped into the country using a ship owned by some Greek company. The ship was built and assembled in Japan and probably powered by Swedish engine. Come to think of it, the two or three hours I spent watching my favorite movie was enabled by several hours of labor put up by hundreds of people across the globe in several global supply chains.
European Campaign for Fair Chocolate. (2015) Human Rights and Child Labour. Retrieved from https://makechocolatefair.org/issues/human-rights-and-child-labour
Heintz, J. (2002). Global Labor Standards:their impact and implementation. University of Massachusetts Amherst
International Labour Office (ILO). (2016). Workplace Compliance in Global Supply Chains. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---sector/documents/publication/wcms_540914.pdf
International Labour Office. (2016. Decent work in global supply chains. Retrieved from https://ecampus.itcilo.org/pluginfile.php/28039/course/section/3840/wcms_468097%20%284%29.pdf
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Global Perspectives in Managing People - Essay Example for Students. (2022, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.net/essays/global-perspectives-in-managing-people
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