In the Balance

Workers' Rights: A Race To The Bottom?

July 23, 2016

Are the rights of the world's workers being eroded too far in the pursuit of economic growth? France has been plunged into sometimes violent industrial unrest so far this year as the government attempts to push through changes to restrict collective bargaining and make it easier for bosses to fire workers. It says the new rules are needed to stimulate business - a view shared by powerful economic forces like the IMF. But do labour reforms always bring greater prosperity? Or do they leave workers vulnerable to profit-hungry corporations, and increase inequality? Is there a middle way between workers' rights and good business? Ed Butler is joined by Raymond Torres, director of research at the International Labour Organisation, Zoe Lanara, head of international relations at the Greek General Confederation of Labour, and Dan Mitchell, an economist with the Cato Institute in Washington. (Photo: French CGT union members protesting in Marseilles. Credit: Boris Horvat, Getty Images)

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