'Labour Chains': Analysing the Role of Labour Contractors in Global Production NetworksBrooks World Poverty Institute Working Papers

By:
Stephanie Barrientos
Date:
  • Article Title: 'Labour Chains': Analysing the Role of Labour Contractors in Global Production Networks
  • Title of Journal: Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Papers
  • Vol #: 153

Abstract:
Third 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.

Informal Economy Topic
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