Use of Global Value Chains by Labor Organizers

TitleUse of Global Value Chains by Labor Organizers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsQuan, K.
JournalCompetition and Change
Keywordsapparel supply chain, global value chains, labor organizing, sweatshop, textile supply chain

Understanding global value chains is important for labor as well as business. However, to be useful for labor organizers, workers must first be located as entities in global value chains. Further modification can reveal possible strengths and weaknesses in the chain, identify worker allies and reveal necessary steps in the organizing process. This paper examines ways that labor educators have modified global value chains to teach workers about their industries, and uses two case studies to illustrate the application that global value chains have to comprehensive organizing campaigns. The paper argues that labor organizers should go one step further by using global value chains to conceptualize global plans to stabilize employment for workers after the end of the Multi-Fiber Arrangement, and to raise wages in this context.