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Globalization and Changes in Employment Conditions in Asia and the Pacific
Globalization and Changes in Employment Conditions in Asia and the Pacific
  • SUMMARY
    Although conflicting views concerning the nature of globalization and its effects on the labour market around the world have been put forward, it is rather obvious that significant changes have occurred in the labour market for the last ten years. One of common directions underlying these changes is to introduce greater flexibility in the labour market, notably by transforming the “rigid” employment system to a more “dynamic” one. At the same time, recent technological changes and the emergence of new product markets have accelerated the process of job creation and destruction, and also created various types of “nonstandard” or “atypical” employment. Certainly these changes are not always welcomed by all workers: some have benefited while some others have suffered. Naturally, how those workers who have suffered losses should be covered by the social protection (the social “safety net”) and then be reintegrated into the economy is the special focus for new social policies. Yet, finding a new balance between greater flexibility and appropriate social protection has proven to be a very difficult task, one which certainly requires a comprehensive and balanced planning and an integrated implementation strategy.
    East Asian countries are not free from these changes and challenges. In fact, it appears that these countries have both benefited and suffered from globalization in general and changes in the labour market in particular. A sequence of financial crises in this region hit the labour market very hard, while that same globalization and the development of advanced technologies such as ICT have boosted certain economies or sectors. In this sense, it can be said that East Asia has experienced some of the most dynamic labour market changes in the world. Thus, policy challenges in this region are abundant and real -- calling for immediate action. This is particularly important considering the increasing popularity of the pessimistic view that “the Asian crisis has transformed the region’s perspective of globalization from a “tide that lifts all boats” into a “tsunami”, increasing poverty and misery.” (ILO 2004: 25).
    Despite the urgent call for action, the current knowledge base on which different policy options should be assessed is worryingly limited. While information and data on labour market changes in Eastern Asian countries are available to some extent, little is known about their impacts on individual workers, especially on conditions of employment. Provided that economic globalization is about net benefits (some win and other lose), our understanding is surprisingly poor about the labour market benefits and costs of globalization which are reflected in daily working life for individual workers. It is often the case in the debate that the macro benefits and costs of globalization are concrete and detailed, while those for individual workers are abstract and patchy. In addition, it should be remembered that “the concerns and aspiration of ordinary people”, which tend to be increasingly pessimistic, are shaped by their employment status and working conditions” (Ibid, 21).
    It is clear that without this type of information it would not be possible to evaluate the effects of recent changes in the labour market. More importantly, the lack of knowledge in this regard may is courage governments and the social partners from developing sound and effective policies and also hinder them from reaching an informed agreement through social dialogue.

    - Table of Contents -

    Preface ... i
    Introduction ... 1

    Chapter 1 Australia ... (Iain Campbell)
    1. Introduction ... 7
    2. Globalization and Labor Market Reforms in Australia ... 9
    3. Changes in Employment Conditions for Individual Workers ... 23
    4. Social Debates ... 56
    5. Conclusion ... 59
    References ... 60

    Chapter 2. Japan(I) ... (Katsuyuki Kubo)
    1. Introduction: has the style of employment relationships changed in Japan? ... 79
    2. The Effects of Globalization and Restructuring on Labor ... 82
    3. Long-term Employment Relationship ... 87
    4. Increase in the Number of Non-regular Workers ... 93
    5. Seniority-based Pay System ... 100
    6. Social debate: Widening Economic Inequality and Remedies ... 109
    7. Concluding Remarks ...112
    References ... 114

    Chapter 3. Japan(II) ... (Kazutoshi Chatani)
    1. Introduction ...119
    2. Overview of Non-regular Employment in Japan ... 121
    3. Driving Forces: the Demand and Supply Factors ... 126
    4. Working Conditions ... 141
    5. Conclusion ...159
    References ... 160

    Chapter 4. Korea ... (Byung-Hee Lee / Bum-Sang Yoo)
    1. Introduction ... 165
    2. Labor Market Reforms and Social Dialogue ... 166
    3. Changes in Employment Conditions: Segmentation in the Labor Market ... 186
    4. Conclusion ... 212
    References ... 214

    Chapter 5. China ... (Chen Lan / Hou Bao-qin)
    1. Introduction ... 217
    2. Review of Employment Policies and Labor Market Reforms in China ... 219
    3. Quantitative Study: the Impact of Reform Policies on Different Groups ... 240
    4. Debates on Labor Market Policies and Policy Projections ... 263
    5. Conclusion ... 268
    References ... 270

    Chapter 6. Vietnam ... (Dao Quang Vinh)
    1. Introduction ... 273
    2. Globalization and Changes in the Labor Market : Economic Growth ... 277
    3. Employment and Labor Policies ... 297
    4. Changes in Employment Conditions ... 308
    5. Emerging Issues ... 322
    6. Conclusion ... 330
    References ... 332

    Chapter 7. Indonesia ... (Diah Widarti)
    1. Introduction ... 337
    2. Labor Market Reforms in Response to Globalization ... 338
    3. Labor Market Trends in Indonesia ... 357
    4. Changes in Employment Conditions in Indonesia ... 368
    5. Social Debates ... 395
    6. Summary and Prospects ... 405
    References ... 409

    Chapter 8. Thailand ... (Sununta Siengthai)
    1. Introduction ... 421
    2. Globalization and Labor Market Reforms ... 422
    3. Changes in Employment Conditions: Some Empirical Evidence ... 438
    4. Social Debates and the Role of Labor Market Institutions ... 451
    5. Conclusion ...456
    References ... 458

    Chapter 9. Philippines ... (V. Sibal/S.V. AmanteCatalina Tolentino)
    1. Introduction ... 461
    2. Globalization and Philippine Labor and Economy ... 462
    3. Changes at the Workplace ... 477
    4. Changes in Management Strategies and their Impacts on Workers: Case Studies ... 490
    5. Conclusions ... 499
    References ... 501