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Last Updated:[13-05-2010 00:16:23 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

WTO Must Streamline Organized Workforce to Cut Socio-economic Imbalances

tradenews It is now apparent in the light of various studies conducted by both the UN agencies and other independent bodies that globalization has eluded its goals by not translating it into targeted benefits. Instead of creating an all-inclusive socio-economic development across communities, it has been found that while very few prospered majority devolved.

The world body should lay emphasis on reducing the growing divide between the rich and the poor rather than pushing for trade to please some of the business powerhouses. If increasing world trade through global action means prosperity for all, the WTO has to address problems of the workforces that comprise of about 70 percent excluding self employed involved directly or indirectly in global trade.

It has to press for regulations which will bring in all workforces under one umbrella of organized sector as majority, particularly in developing countries are forced to work incognito. The workers of unorganized sector are deprived of employment protection such as paid leave, sick leave, healthcare and other perks; and are almost enslaved by their employers.

Similarly, even workers of organized sector are exploited by overloading with work schedules that may go up to 20hrs per day without any rest or extra allowance. Especially the workforces from countries without minimum hourly wages have been largely put to this hardship by calibrating it as a day’s work.

At a glance, it may seem like how on earth the strengthening of organized sector of workforce will improve the living standards of the poor and marginalized workers without developing other key areas such as free right to education, healthcare and other civic amenities. But by elevating the dignity of workers by providing reasonable earnings for what they work is likely to boost their confidence, and thereby prod themselves to meet all immediate needs without any administrative influence.

As far as trade is concerned, the atrocities perpetrated on workforces should also be given equal care like that of other aspects of trade agreements to avoid social unrests stemming from socio-economic asymmetries. The absence of minimum wages for workers or potentially running unorganized workforces, perhaps even with the backing of governments, should be given serious re-look as it is implied in individual trade deals as grievous human rights violations.

By Jose Roy

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