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Labour Law in an Era of GlobalizationTransformative Practices and Possibilities$
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Joanne Conaghan, Richard Michael Fischl, and Karl Klare

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271818.001.0001

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Private Ordering and Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy: Corporate Codes of Conduct as a Regime of Labour Market Regulation

Private Ordering and Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy: Corporate Codes of Conduct as a Regime of Labour Market Regulation

Chapter:
(p.470) (p.471) 24 Private Ordering and Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy: Corporate Codes of Conduct as a Regime of Labour Market Regulation
Source:
Labour Law in an Era of Globalization
Author(s):

Harry Arthurs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271818.003.0025

This chapter assesses the value of a corporate code of conduct as a mechanism for ensuring fair labour standards. It extends the frontiers of labour regulation to embrace what is essentially a private international mechanism, although it is candid in assessing the difficulties thereby posed. Voluntary codes are emerging as the most significant feature of a fragile, inchoate regime of transnational labour market regulation. Employers are supposed to be the object of that regulation, but they are also its primary authors and administrators; they can conjure it up or make it disappear pretty much whenever and for whatever reason they wish. But workers — supposedly the beneficiaries of this regulation — lack the power to create it, significantly to influence its terms, or even to insist that they receive its promised benefits. They can only denounce it and try to rob it of its legitimacy.

Keywords:   labour standards, labour regulation, transnational corporations, voluntary codes, state regulation

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