Articles authored by Gearhart, Judy


Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. The debate over workplace codes of conduct has created tensions between trade unions and human rights NGOs. These tensions result from the inherent structural differences between interest-driven trade unions and ideals-driven human righst NGOs. The differences play themselves out in how these actors pursue social justice in a globalised economy. Human rights NGOs tend to see codes of conduct as a method to prevent violations, akin to their traditional work on legal reform and human rights monitoring.

Workers face tremendous challenges in their fight to organise, both in terms of personal risk and the sheer number of obstacles. Overcoming such challenges requires multiple strategies and broad-ranging collaboration. In this article we begin by reviewing the repression workers face. We then look at how voluntary workplace codes might help workers organise. Using the SA8000 standard as an example, we look at some of the elements that could be most useful in organising workers.