Call for abstracts - Promoted by the International Association of Labour Law Journals (IALLJ) - Regulating working conditions in MNEs during and after the pandemic

Promoted by the International Association of Labour Law Journals (IALLJ)

The International Association of Labour Law Journals is promoting a Call for Abstracts in connection with the seminar that the association will organise during its next Business Meeting. A panel of prominent scholars belonging to the IALLJ membership will discuss the selected abstracts in the Business Meeting of the Association organised within the forthcoming XIII European Regional Congress of the International Society for Labour and Social Security Law, Lisbon, 5-7 May 2021.

Abstracts may also be selected by the journals of the Association for the publication of the corresponding paper therein. The paper can be written in the language of the journal that has selected the abstract.

Title: Regulating working conditions in MNEs during and after the pandemic

Working conditions within Multinational Enterprises (MNEs), and especially in their supply chains, have always been scarcely regulated by labour law. MNEs and their global supply chains go beyond the traditional scope of national labour regulation and workers’ representatives and trade unions have been urged to set up new forms of social dialogue and collective action at the transnational level. Despite being emphasised as channels to constitutionalise labour relations in MNEs, soft law
and self-regulation has proved to be scarcely effective in regulating global supply chains. The question of how to regulate MNEs has become an emergency during the pandemic crisis, when workers involved in their supply chain have suddenly lost their jobs, often without receiving any
social benefits.

This call aims at raising a debate on the possible forms of regulation of workers’ conditions in MNEs and invites labour law scholars and researchers from other close disciplines to present contributions on topics such as:

- Regulation at the supranational level
On one side, we face a revamp of relevant EU regulation (e.g. Transparent and predictable working conditions Directive, the proposal on Corporate Due Diligence and Corporate Accountability). On the other side, negotiations for concluding a binding Treaty to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises has been further developed inside the UN. In addition to advancing regulation through commercial agreements and arrangements, in the form of Free Trade Agreements or Bilateral Investment Treaties, supranational actors, such as the ILO and the OECD, have been promoting different forms of MNEs’ regulation.

- Regulation through transnational social dialogue, collective bargaining and new forms of collective action
Transnational social dialogue and collective bargaining are also important channels to regulate MNEs. Recently, the European Trade unions have been pushing for a reform of the European Works Council Directive. European and Global Framework Agreements have been introduced in order to face the serious economic and social consequences of the current crisis. Moreover, unions have built alliances with non-governmental organisations, environmental groups and consumers to promote the sustainability of supply chains at the local and global level.

- Regulation at national level
Governments in core countries are taking initiatives to regulate the purposes of corporations and the governance of supply chains. While some countries have introduced new juridical forms of corporations, such as the B Corp in the US, France and Italy that are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, communities, and the environment, others are promoting laws that oblige MNEs to ensure that the rights of workers and communities in their supply chains are respected (see the French law on the devoir de vigilance and the proposed global supply chains act in Germany).

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 29 March 2021.
Abstract: maximum 10000 characters (spaces included); an essential bibliography can be added.

The Abstract should focus on one or more of the topics indicated below and it should clearly describe the research objectives, the methodology and (if necessary) an essential bibliography.

Contacts for submission:

Abstract submission: Mar 29, 2021