Faculty of Law, held BONSAI (Bincang & Obrolan Santai) on 24/11 held at UB Hotel Lt. 1 with the theme: “The Legal Perspective of Labor and Company Law in Facing the Global Challenge of Law” by Dr. Tim Connor (Lecturer Law School – University of Newcastle Australia).
In his presentation, he emphasized on the protection of the right to work. This according to him became part of the law of employment. How can corporate law be included in the issue? Connor believes that corporate law reduces the effectiveness of labor law so that both require reform. He also briefly considered the effectiveness of voluntary initiatives to protect labor rights.
Neo-Liberal Globalization Increases Inequality
Globally, within 40 years has followed neo-liberal economic policies such as privatization and lack of government regulations, so that economic policy is very encouraging economic growth and the creation of an atmosphere of employment. But on the other hand, the economic policy also caused a dislocation. Connor pointed out that the eight richest people in the world, equal to the total wealth of the poor of half the world’s population (3.6 billion people), with improved mechanization technology or artificial intelligence, neo-liberals may no longer encourage employment growth. For example, Bloomberg notes that in the United States, bounce back ‘V’s have replaced U’s’ unemployment recovery.
Inequality Can Be Linked to Abuse of Power.
The Weinstein scandal in the United States reminds us that someone who has high power over other people, they sometimes abuse that power. This is particularly a problem in the business context, where if a business behaves badly and benefits economically, other businesses may also behave badly to stay competitive.
Abuse of Working Rights is a Global Challenge
Globally, there are many problems in the misuse of workers’ rights including wage cheating, inadequate wages, unsafe working practices, bullying in the workplace, sexual harassment at work, unreasonable hours of kerya. Connor has recently been studying this problem in Indonesia and India. But I want to emphasize that this is also the case in Australia. For example, in Australia there is a scandal in the media against wage cheating in the 7-eleven store and the Orchards fruit store.
Why does the Employment Law Not Protect Workers’ Rights?
Employment laws in different countries also need to be improved both in terms of rules and enforcement, but we need to pay attention to the fact that corporate law is used to weaken labor laws.
Personality of the Company
The law gives companies an individual status, giving them separate legal “personalities” of their shareholders, directors, and employees.
Labor Law Reform
Labor laws in various countries need to be strengthened, especially with a focus on:
- Stronger protection of the right to freedom of association / union.
- More effective minimum wage enforcement and higher minimum wage rates
- Clearer definition of labor / workforce
- The labor law is necessary to counter the efforts of weakening by corporate law.
For example, increased responsibility of firms on higher supply chains to lower supply chains. Examples of sugar mills and sugar cane plantations in Brazil.
Company Law Reforestation
Company law also requires reforms, as follows:
- The parent company should be responsible for certain activities of the subsidiary
- Company directors are required to ensure that their companies comply with the law (Cassimatis case)
Support from witness protection agencies that give confidence to complainants.
- Human rights commission complaints put pressure on the police.
- The FOA protocol facilitates linkages between networks, standards that facilitate the growth of labor unions when re-established.