Grappling with Democracy
Chapter 7: International influences and congruences
Starting as ad hoc efforts by states and individuals to gain legal protections with respect to slavery, indenture and servitude, the focus of international efforts expanded to the conditions of workers more generally. These gradually evolved into strong cooperations motivated by the devastation caused by two world wars, beginning with the League of Nations and the ILO. Labor organizations had already begun cooperations in the late nineteenth century; these eventually became the international trade union confederations in existence today. Certain employee rights are now recognized as human rights on the international level by the UN and the ILO, and also on regional levels, including the EU, COE, and OAS. The rights recognized have also become more nuanced, beginning with limitations to the working day and night work protections and moving on to include issues of worker voice and not only the right to join a union, but also rights of consultation and negotiation.
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