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Hazard or HardshipCrafting Global Norms on the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work$
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Jeffrey Hilgert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451898

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451898.001.0001

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(p.140) 6 Negotiating “Safe” Rights versus Seeking Social Justice

(p.140) 6 Negotiating “Safe” Rights versus Seeking Social Justice

(p.140) 6 Negotiating “Safe” Rights versus Seeking Social Justice
Hazard or Hardship

Jeffrey Hilgert

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the contentious negotiations for International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 155. It argues that the negotiations were not simple matters of tripartite dialog and decision-making. What had occurred was a more insidious use of power. Classic laissez-faire self-regulation, the very problem that gave rise to the ILO itself, was now in part advocated through global worker health and safety policy. Workers were sidelined in their representation and could not gain a conceptual or rhetorical footing once this political environment was established and the approach tacitly agreed on in the mandate to draft the new convention. The best strategy for the workers might have been to withhold their support by leaving the negotiation and allow the drafting to collapse.

Keywords:   right to refuse, unsafe work, refusal rights, labor policy, International Labor Organization, ILO Convention No. 155

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