‘Labour chains’: analysing the role of labour contractors in global production networks
AbstractThird party labour contractors are increasingly prevalent in Global Production Networks (GPNs), and are a potential channel for ‘new forms of slavery’. Our review of case study evidence from South African and UK horticulture suggests unfree labour often emerges off-site through labour intermediaries. We examine analytical approaches to labour in GPNs and value chains. We argue that labour contracting is a logical extension of global outsourcing, helping to offset risk and enhance flexibility. A ‘cascade system’ allows unscrupulous intermediaries to exploit and coerce vulnerable workers. We examine strategies of civil society alliances, and regulatory reform, and argue for extending liability across global boundaries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by BWPI, The University of Manchester in its series Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series with number 15311.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2011-08-02 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2011-08-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2011-08-02 (Business Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2011-08-02 (Labour Economics)
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