The international labor organization for minimum labor standards: The seafarers' case

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Globalization has created conditions in which business has become increasingly global. The combined effect of global business, intense competition, weakening of labor unions, and the inability of national governments to control the negative effects of globalization has created immense difficulties in the formulation and implementation of global labor standards. This research takes an ancient industry with a long tradition of international features and regulations, that is, the maritime industry, as a case study to understand the dynamics associated with the regulation of a global industry. The study argues that J. R. Commons' works at the turn of the century not only give us excellent insights into the creation of global markets and the need for global labor rights protection but also provide us with a solution, that is, the creation of an "authoritative commission." Finally, the study suggests that there is a need to enhance the role of ILO as a global "commission" to regulate the industry. Presently, the ILO does not have the essential features for becoming such a commission. Therefore, ILO should develop three important characteristics: ability to include new emerging actors, decision-making based on consensus and dialogue, and sanction power to implement its standards. Based on the above principles, ILO can work as the center of a global regulatory regime in the maritime industry. Through its power of sanction, it will implement its standards mainly through states. But, at the same time, it will network with unions and NGOs and all other important actors in the industry at local, national, and global levels to detect and eradicate substandard shipping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Industrial and Labor Relations
EditorsDavid Lewin, Bruce Kaufman, Paul Gollan
Number of pages47
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Publication series

NameAdvances in Industrial and Labor Relations
ISSN (Print)0742-6186

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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