The web site of the Observatory on Labour in Globalisation analyses the situation of work in the world, from the following two points of view:
Observation of the agents of globalisation which are preventing the development of decent work, and of economic, productive and financial trends which are holding back the necessary social dimension of globalisation, as stated by the ILO, which would focus on basic human rights, especially economic and social rights.
Motivation of workers to comply with international labour standards (as recognised by the International Labour Organisation in several basic agreements aiming to promote so-called decent employment), making known the mechanisms and campaigns for furthering compliance, this being essential in achieving a socially equitable model of development guaranteeing decent living conditions for workers.
The web site, presented in 2002, has become consolidated since then as a source of reference materials, with over 1,000 pages of information on globalisation, decent employment, violations of international labour regulations (especially regarding child labour and trade union rights). Up to March 2008 it received 325,000 hits, and at present has about 1,500 subscribers - both individuals and work centres - which receive regular bulletins.
The information offered by the portal mainly refers to the vision of the Fundación Paz y Solidaridad Serafín Aliaga regarding actions by worldwide trade union organisations with regard to international agents (IMF, World Bank, WTO, etc.) and transnational private agents (multinationals, with a special focus on corporate social responsibility). It also reports on the economic, financial and productive trends that affect decent employment, always focusing on the gender approach.
The structure of the portal ties in with the strategies of the Observatory on Labour in Globalisation campaign, with five sections: Observe, Act, Countries, Sectors, Resources.
The OBSERVE section offers information on the type of employment being advocated by the campaign. It then gives details on the type of globalisation that generates instability in the labour world, and the agents and trends within globalisation that lead to such instability. The documents available range from ILO reports on employment to reports on child labour and information on violations of trade union rights.
We observe what we consider to be the real agents behind economic globalisation, that is, the international financial institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank), the World Trade Organisation and transnational companies, all of which are increasingly active worldwide. We also cover trends in globalisation at the financial, productive and commercial levels.
We show how the international trade union movement is responding, with declarations, proposals, the search for alternatives, trade union guides, trade union surveillance strategies, calls for joint action, etc.
There is a growing amount of information on corporate social responsibility, a matter of growing interest for trade unions, explaining why observation is necessary and how it can be carried out by trade unions, with initiatives for trade union participation, etc.
The ACT section aims to promote organisation and make the international trade union movement known as the rich and plural movement it is. Although affiliates of all trade unions that belong to one of the international organisations already participate, there is room for further action through the various campaigns covered by the Observatory of Labour in Globalisation.
Several sub-sections have been drawn up, offering: (1) reports on violations of labour rights the world over; (2) proposals for negotiating with transnational companies, such as solidarity clauses, codes of conduct and framework agreements; (3) examples of solidarity in the working world, and (4) trade union development cooperation with workers in southern countries to strengthen democratic, class trade unionism.
The COUNTRIES section explains the labour situation in specific countries. These include the special conditions in Argentina and Colombia, the trade union movement in Equatorial Guinea, the cross-border labour activities in Guatemala, the process of relocation in Morocco, the case of Western Sahara and the consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict in the labour world.
The SECTORS section gives information about the situation of labour in various sectors of production, covering specific cases and reports. There is also information on certain trade union cooperation projects and global action in different sectors.
The sectors included to date are agrifood, education, mining and metallurgy, textiles, the civil service, commerce and catering.
The last section on RESOURCES offers multimedia materials that can be downloaded, some of them translated into several languages. Of special interest are the publications, training materials and videos that have been drawn up as part of the campaign in order to create awareness and encourage involvement by workers in different sectors of production.
In conclusion, the web site offers extensive training materials with the clear objective of promoting decent work through international solidarity and supporting trade union development cooperation and action by work centres.
Electronic bulletins are available free of charge to subscribers, who should enter their details on the home page of the web site. Subscribers may be work centres, trade union sections or individuals.