Beyond a Boundary: On Transnational Labour Law, Discontent and Emancipatory Social Justice
ILO100 Law for Social Justice, 2019
21 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2020
Date Written: 2019
The transnational futures of international labour law (TFILL) is the title given to the 12-week, bilingual course taught at McGill University in winter 2019,3 the place where the ILO took wartime refuge from 1940 to 1948. In its 1919 constitution, ILO members arm that ‘universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice’. In the 1944 constitutional annex, the Declaration of Philadelphia, the ILO goes further to espouse a vision that might be considered transnational – the war against want is to be waged not only within each nation, but by ‘continuous and concerted international effort in which the representatives of workers and employers, enjoying equal status with those of governments, join with them in free discussion and democratic decision with a view to the promotion of the common welfare, of all human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, who have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity’. The TFILL seeks to speak to the laid off General Motors autoworker in Oshawa whose father was an autoworker, and whose grandfather was an autoworker, and who, faced with a decent lifestyle that is falling apart, proclaims: ‘the market plays with peoples’ lives’. The TFILL seeks at the same time to speak to the destitute worker in Mexico who hopes the job will be his and who migrates internally, with 100 more people all in search of that one job that will not be at conditions anything like the conditions of that GM worker in Oshawa.
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