Global Supply Chains - Struggle within or against them?

ASIAN LABOUR UPDATE (ALU) is a quarterly news bulletin on labour issues in southern and eastern Asia. It is prepared and published by the Asia Monitor Resource Centre Ltd (AMRC), a non-profit, pro-labour, non-governmental organization based in Hong Kong. This issue of Asian Labour Update focuses on a recurring theme: global supply chains. By now in 2011, the world has faced the enormous costs of an economic system that spreads production and consumption all around the world, forcing countries of various levels of economic development to open and ‘free’ their economies and markets – and begun to recognize the fundamental risks, unsustainability and injustice arising from it.

Global Supply Chains - Struggle within or against them?

Editorial: Global Supply Chains - Struggle within or against them?
In this issue of Asian Labour Update focuses on a recurring theme: global supply chains. By now in 2011, the world has faced the enormous costs of an economic system that spreads production and consumption all around the world, forcing countries of various levels of economic development to open and ‘free’ their economies and markets – and begun to recognize the fundamental risks, unsustainability and injustice arising from it. Read more.

Global Supply Chains and Their Impact on the Labour Movement in Asia
Globalization and the increased internationalization of supply chains have been shaped primarily by transnational corporations, by increasingly globalizing their operations around the world in order to lower costs. Countries in need of investment and foreign exchange are put into competition with each other to attract these operations by offering their labour and natural resources. Ultimately, workers and communities in the participating countries are also put into competition against each other as they are dragged into jobs tied to global supply chains....The division of labour ends up having disastrous impacts on the environment and the society of third world countries in various ways, and the worst affected are the labour force. Read more.

Which side are you on? Lessons from the strikes at auto suppliers in South China
The labour conflicts of last summer in South China made big news in Chinese and international media. As workers in supplier companies for Honda, Toyota and other auto multinationals downed tools, business media such as the British ‘Economist’ expressed fear over the ‘rising power of workers in China’. At the same time, a tragic series of suicides at Foxconn – the world’s largest contract manufacturer of computers, iPods, and other mobile electronics gear – exposed the inhumane nature of low-wage mass production for global brands such as Apple, HP or Nokia. Both events had a major impact among trade unions, labour activists, and the general public in China- perhaps a watershed in the future development of labour relations in the country. This article provides an analysis of the events last summer and its aftermath, including discussions on reform of labour policies and recent wage negotiations in Guangdong. Read more.

International Workshop on Chinese Labour Regulations
On 6-7 January 2011, AMRC, Worker Empowerment and the Department of Applied Social Studies of City University of Hong Kong held an international workshop on the 'Changing Labour Regulations in China- Practice and Challenges'. Read more.

Cheap Labour In Essence, Students In Name: Vocational School Interns In China
As part of the industrial planning, vocational schools should fulfill the needs of economic development, and reflect the economic development situation of the country. Until 1949 China’s vocational education development was very slow, and then passed through two major peaks in its development, respectively, before the Cultural Revolution in 1965 and after the reform and opening up in 1978. Read more.