The ILO and the Australian contribution to the international labour standards debate

Citation data:

Journal of Industrial Relations, ISSN: 0022-1856, Vol: 41, Issue: 3, Page: 355-371

Publication Year:
Usage 42
Abstract Views 36
Link-outs 6
Captures 1
Exports-Saves 1
Citations 1
Citation Indexes 1
Repository URL:;;;
Nyland, Chris; Castle, Robert
SAGE Publications
Business, Management and Accounting; international; labour; debate; australian; contribution; standards; organisation; ilo; Business; Social and Behavioral Sciences
article description
This paper examines tbe views of the various protagonists in the Australian debate that surrounds the demand that the World Trade Organisation adopt a social clause linking workers' rights with tbe rigbt to engage in cross-border trade. We argue that the rights-trade question is not solely a Northern/Southern Hemisphere issue but is also a manifestation of the conflict that exists between the rights of capital and the rights of labour. We begin by outlining the background to the international labour rights debate, then proceed to identify the views of the various Australian protagonists by examining the report of the Tripartite Working Party on labour standards (the Duffy Report) released in March 1996. We conclude that while the federal government has made some compromises in this debate, it needs to build on these initiatives if it is to convince the international community that it is truly supportive of the basic rights of labour.