Labour Studies 2G03
January 13, 2014
*email prof. regarding first assignment. (topic and article with scholarly source)
*final essay will be submitted by email to the ta.
*get into debate about opposing views.. best essays will be essays that lock into debate
over the conflict area of the issue. Evaluate the debate, and asses the strengths and
*Slavery film online
Structure of World Trade (% Share)
1960 1980 shift to Neoliberal Globalization
Evident that European nations declined their manufacturing exports because they
were sending work to developing nations. (developing nations up from 12%
25.9% whereas Euro transition countries were down from 4.7% 2.9% as well as
Industrial countries down from 83.3% 71.2%)
Core countries imported raw resources (natural resources) and fed the labour
force, used it to manufacture goods and then exported them to other core
countries. Only a small amount went to the peripheral countries because they
couldn’t afford a lot of it.
Countries of the South are becoming more involved in trading now.
Tequil and McBride.
Fundamental shift in the contemporary phase of globalization.
Shifting global division of labour.
Key Fundamental Difference on Globalization and McBride’s view
Tequal said that the markets and the international/ global/ political bodies had the
power. Thinks that the nation state is disappearing. No more power or authority.
McBride said that globalization is a choice that nation states make; they are the
facilitators. They still have power and make the choices on behalf of their
constituents, and they allow this to take place. There are many variations in
policies that governments pursue. (Ex social welfare policies) Not all nations are
going down the same path. It is a political choice.
The making of Global Capitalism (book, 2013)*
Opposed to the idea that states have become powerless. States have to be places
right at the center of any explanation that we want to have on global capitalism.
We need this to understand the contemporary phase of global capitalism.
States are responsible for property rates and overseeing contract enforcements and
judiciary matters, as well as stabilizing currencies.
States need to be at the center of understanding global capitalism. This is the same
argument as McBride is trying to make. January 20, 2014
New International Financial and Investment Regime
1944 Bretton Woods agreement had 2 key players
1) John Maynard Keynes (U.K)
2) Harry Dexter White (USA)*key participant
3 major agreements achieved
1) Set of rules to “free trade” (lower tariffs.. etc.)
2) New monetary regime (common ground for trade to occur, like currencies.
More stable monetary system. Revolved around creating “flexible” gold
3) Creation of institutions to enforce/ regulate the new international and financial
This created peg/ fixed currency rates.
Other countries were obliged to stay within a certain value of the fixed exchange
rate. Very small margin for variation
Economic contitions could change, therefore they might need to change the
currency value, but they were only allowed to do so through the IMF
(international monetary fund.
IMF would not easily alter the evaluation of the currency. Would only do so if
they felt there was a fundamental problem.
Financial repression and a system of capital controls.
Very strict controls and financial pressure.
The nation states were given a great deal of control over speculative movements
of funds; hence the financial repression.
Capital controls help keep finance primarily national.
Financial regulation and credit control that the nation states have enable them to
regulate where funds were going to go.
50s and 60s very small flow of private funds.
Everything in relation to the US dollar.
1. The International Monetary Fund
The world’s banker during emergencies
to act as an institution when problems occurred within certain economies
Meant to stabilize by overseeing/ maintaining the system of fixed exchange rates.
Lender of last resort to help maintain global demand/ (if nations were slumping
badly, it could engage in trade)
Meant to act as a credit union.
The amount that each country was to contribute was based on the size of their
economy. In return, depending on how much you contributed, reflected how many
votes you got. (The USA had the best economy and therefore had the biggest say
on policies.) 2. The international bank of reconstruction and development (also known as the
Prevent recessions by lending money for reconstruction in infustructure projects
for countries that were experiencing difficulties.
The money for rebuilding, initially, was being poured into European cointries that
had been devastated by the war. Later it shifted to funding third world countries.
3. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (G.A.T.T)/ Now known as the
World Trade Organization (W.T.O)
An institution/ form created to promote international trade by liberalizing trade.
Liberalized trade primarily by lowering tariffs.
Put in place as a body to resolve disputes over trades/ tariffs between countries.
Meant to stabilize the world economy and growing demand and to promote
New International Division of Labour
Global labour is impacted by this
Nations of the south are impacted by this
No longer the core countries dominating manufacturing
Colonial division of labour is based on the core (production of manufactured
goods) periphery (raw materials, agricultural goods) model.
Marx: Western capitalism came into the world “dripping from head to toe from
every pore with blood and dirt.”
2 Distinct Phases in the Development of the N.I.D.L
1. Import Substitution Industrialization
Brazil, Argentina, Mexico. This model applies.
Setting up big plants to make products that will be consumed in domestic markets
as a substitute for importing products.
Big time in the 1950s
2. Export Led Industrialization
Generally associate with the early industrialized nations in east Asia (South
Korea, Malasia, Singapore.)
Not to produce for domestic consumption
Export led industrialization
Labour intensive industries (ex small electronics)
January 21, 2014
Global south had improvement in industrialization
“Golden period” “golden era”
1980’s the golden era comes to a halt due to financial markets. (Euro currencies/
private capital; unregulated)
Period in industrialized countries where more money went into labour and less
went into the capital.
Profitability prices created tension between businesses and workers over the share
of what each was to get from productivity.
Efforts to redivert the money from labour back to the middle class. Neoliberal ideas, philosophy and ideology. “new” kind of liberalism.
Needed to regulate the market place in order to achieve a more equitable society
and to divert (hopefully) global war.
Neoliberalism (NEW LIBERALS)
Through individuals pursuing their own self interests that we all benefit. (the
butcher selling meat makes money and we then have meat.)
Serf is a person that owes a duty of fidelity to the master and works the land. (Not
a slave, but like a slave)
“A road to serfdom” **
Free from coercion. Market economies are not coercive. (They are not coercive
because they “get to chose their own tie”)
Inflation hurts the wealthy because they have all the money but it decreases the
value of their wealth.
Anti inflation act; first time wage control was instituted in Canada. (1975)
1. Primacy of the market
2. Emphasis of individual responsibility
1) Privatization of public enterprises
2) Deregulation of the economy
3) Liberalization of trade & capital markets
4) Tax cuts/ regressive taxation (Freidman believed in low, flat taxing)
5) Control inflation (fighting unemployment.. curbing inflation)
6) Circumscription of trade union power (limits attempting to control power of trade
unions. Seen as the cause of the rising inflation because they were fighting for
higher wages and better packages)
7) Cutting social service expenditures (had been slashed)
8) Cutting size of government
**How policies got implemented in to third world.
January 28, 2014
Klein At least 850 EPZs (export processing zone) spread over 70 countries in the
I.L.O (national labour organization) Conducts research on global features
I.L.O by 2008 3,500 EPZs, operating in 130 countries and employing 66 million
workers. (bad working conditions)
20022006 31% decline in the Philippians of exporting plants; meanwhile
Bangladesh, Madagascar and Sri Lanka all went up.
Mexico EPZ 19421964 Bracero Program: contract migrant labour program between USA
Mexican workers were allowed to come in as contracted labors for a fixed term to
work in the fields. Western states in particular to work in the agricultural fields.
Gradually, the Mexicans started working in more competitive industries, for
below minimum wage.
Pressure from workers and unions to do away with this program. Political
pressure is put on because it is undercutting American workers.
The USA bowed to the pressure and ended the program in 1964.
Mexico then believed they had a problem. 200 000 male Mexican workers
shipped out of the USA and told they cant come back.
1965 Mexico introduced the Border Industrialization Program (B.I.P): set up
land on the border.
Mexico allowed duty free imports of raw materials, machinery, parts into
factories set up with 12.5 mile strip along US Mexican border.
As long as finished/ assembled product exported
USA Item 807 of US Tariff Code
Duty free entry into USA for products assembled from US made components.
Only paid duty on “value added” outside USA
Factories set up under B.I.P ▯ Maquiladoras (system that allows input/output with
1972 Mexico extends program from border strip to most of the rest of Mexico.
NAFTA 1994 do not even have to pay a duty on value added component if the
finished good is exported to USA or Canada.
System has expanded
Marks transition of Mexico from one model of development to another from using
ISI to an export led industrialization model.
Irony of the program is the fact that it was introduced because Mexico had an
overabundance of male workers coming back from the USA, therefore they tried
to set up jobs but it ended up that females worked in the maquiladoras.
Arthur D. Little wrote something that suggested women be hired in order to
increase the number of potential workers. Increase employer leverage. Went on to
list attributes that made women desirable workers. (Ex from earlier conditioning,
they show obedience in work, and to authority figures and especially to men.)
Had to be young (between 1730), female, independent, single, available to work
When there weren’t enough women to fill the working need, they filled the
assembly line with gay men.
Early 1990s the males were 40%, women still remain the majority in the
Collins main argument**
February 3, 2014
Two Dominant Explanations as to why China was becoming so dominant 1) Neoliberal explanation:
Accounted for the development of China becoming the factory of the world
Export processing laws
Allowing free market to remove authoritarian restrictions
Communist state had strict controls on food, had market protections, didn’t have
the freeing of trade, state owned enterprises. Dismantled because the private
sector was able to develop.
Allowed advantages, such as massive, cheap labour to be applied.
2) Institutional Explanation
State that accounts for Chinas economic miracle.
State is maintained a pervasive presence across the country
State fosters the transformation by deliberately distorting market forces to build
*Canton and Taylor’s explanation
They are not satisfied with these explanations
One gives to much to indigenous process and the other gives too much to the state
Place China within the restructure, reproduction that was ongoing during global
Neither locates China within the international division of labour.
Enabled within technology but also in political and social changes and free trade
Prior to 1978 (under regime of Chairman Mao)
Urban: dominated by State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) “iron rice bowl”
State guarantee of livelihood.
Rural: commune system
Agriculture was organized under commune system
Was not very efficient of profitable
Social welfare provisions
Residency permits system maintained divide
If you didn’t have a permit, you couldn’t work in the city.
If you went to the city you lost your social welfare provisions
Strict residency division that maintained the divide, no mass migration
After 1978 economic reforms
Open Door Policy: Attempts to follow paths of newly industrializing East Asian countries Export oriented industries, developments and to center developments in export
processing zones. (EPZ)
Special Economic Zones in Shenzhen and others in Guangdong