Corporate Power

The rise of corporate power and the decline in workers’ rights, wages and secure work are directly correlated. Governments are captured by corporations who dictate policy and regulation on nearly every aspect of our lives.

Labour is not a commodity: this principle is at the very heart of the ILO Constitution. Yet the global web of supply chains operates on this basis. Corporate power, profit and exploitation of labour and natural resources increasingly depend on this impoverished model of trade – global supply chains, a global trade which keeps millions of workers in poverty and precarious work.

More than 60 per cent of global trade is dependent on contracts in supply chains sourced from different parts of the world.

It is the real economy where working people are exploited through supply chains that are based on denial of human and labour rights, poverty wages and insecure or precarious work. It is a model that ruthlessly exploits the labour of women and migrants.

Under the umbrella of the logo ‘End Corporate Greed’, unions are organising for minimum living wages and collective bargaining, more secure and safe employment relationships, formalising informal work in supply chains, purging supply chains of slavery and universal social protection.

Corporate Power

The predatory power of global corporations and their impact on the labour market have added to a growing number of workers forced into informal work. Now platform businesses are adding to that number with a business model that has little or no connection to national laws, taxation systems or employment responsibility. Governments are even entering bidding wars with taxpayers’ money to buy the physical location of corporate giants in their countries or cities. As corporate monopoly power grows, so does the opposition to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Corporate and financial power can only be tamed by a determined regulatory approach at national and international level. To get there, they ITUC is working towards a UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights, nationally mandated due diligence and access to remedy and an ILO Supply Chains Convention.