14th IIRA World Congress

The necessity for every country to increase its ability to compete - by, specifically, raising the competitiveness of its enterprises and workers- in a world of increasingly open markets.

  • Education as an important factor of success in this endeavour;
  • The role of social dialogue, as an effective promoter of consensus, in helping social actors to identify; and seek a solution for, key labour and social problems;
  • Social protection as a fundamental component of decent work;
  • New technologies as drivers of change in work organization and labour relations. All these issues are highly important at times such as ours, when traditional jobs are being replaced by other forms of labour relations based on job profiles driven by the introduction of new technologies
  • Track 1 Social Dialogue, Economic Freedom and Industrial Relations
    The central focus of this topic will be social dialogue as an effective promoter of consensus and involvement by the social actors, including governments, citizen groups, NGOs, communities, and so on, and those mechanisms and processes that have been instrumental to its success in dealing various economic and social issues, fostering governance, progress and social peace along with economic development.

    The topic will also include the conditions for the effective development of social dialogue on labour and social issues, Indeed, social dialogue cannot flourish at all times or in every historical context; on the contrary, it needs a favourable milieu for it to be productive and effective. The social, institutional and political consequences of socioeconomic change and structural adjustment policies consistent with the globalization of the economy will be examined from a theoretical prospective as well as in empirical terms, along with the role played by social dialogue in democratic labour relations systems.

    This topic will also include the various forms in which social, political at governmental actors operating in a democratic system have been able -or unable- to successfully respond to the tensions and conflicts inevitably generated by the processes of profound change brought about by societal development, growth and modernization, as well as the extent to which social dialogue has helped lay of the foundations of a new social consensus. Cases will be analyzed of social dialogue helping the modernization of public institutions, the implementation of emergency policies against poverty and underemployment, and the search for consensual solutions to major social and labour problems.

    Track 2 Human Resource Management and the New Labour Relations
    This topic has been designed to attract the interest of both academics and labour relations professionals attending the Congress. Operators in the field are already well aware of the existence of new forms of relationship between employers and employees in all kind of enterprises included small, medium and micro. The emerging interest in an international human resource and also industrial relations approach.

    Traditional full-time, open-ended employment contracts are being replaced by other forms of employment which make the relationship between an employer and his employees far more complex and less straightforward_ On one hand, companies still need to ensure the necessary coordination of the various resources required for the creation of goods and services which is the raison d'κtre of their existence. On the other hand, those whose human activity contributes to the operation of production units in the context of new labour relations have a different attitude from the past. In many cases, workers are better trained, more proactive although no less ready to take for granted their right to a better quality of life and to labour protections. These are all points for the debate we hope to elicit included the impact of globalization in thus respect.

    Track 3 Productive Employment and Education
    The opening up of world markets challenges every country to quickly its productivity. To meet that challenge, the productivity of companies and their workers must be increased included the informal sector. Education plays a critical role in this process. Relevance of formal and informal training institutions in promoting productive employment in countries. While the coverage of the educational system has substantially increased in many countries, this greater scope has been achieved, in too many cases, at the cost of a severe qualitative deterioration of the education provided. The number of hours of teaching and students` performance are extremely low. The evident gap between the skills supplied by the formal educational - both academic and vocational - system and the demand from enterprises and the State further aggravates this problem. Needs for different policies for younger generation vs. aged group.

    To revert this state of things policies required, first and foremost, to prove the training of teachers; second, to better regulate vocational training institutions so as to improve their capability to meet skill demand; third, to foster workers' employability, i.e. their ability to change occupation while maintaining performance; and, last but not least, to make companies and public entities into ongoing training and retraining environments by establishing strong ties between them and universities and other centres of learning.

    Track 4 Policies of Social Protection Work
    Under this topic will include an analysis of ways and mechanisms for mainstreaming social protection into the economy globalization process as a fundamental component of decent work, not to mention its linkage to social dialogue, employment promotion and compliance with workers' fundamental rights. The reasons will be studied why social protection has become critical to the viability and acceptability of economic globalization, and why, vice versa, the real possibilities for the provision of adequate social protection to a majority of the population rest on a successful global economy with embedded income redistribution features. To the extent that most people in the world must do without adequate social protection, the possibilities must be analyzed of making social protection systems a part of domestic and international strategies regarding income security, workplace safety and health, working and environmental conditions, family health, retirement and other pensions. It is also indispensable to ensure effective equality opportunities between the sexes. On this point the possibilities and proposals put forward at various levels will be analyzed for the building of social protection, security and living conditions systems in the new labour environment, so as to include an effective, democratic management of social risks. There can be no economic globalization without promotion of decent work and universal social protection. Studies related to this topic will make reference to the fact that real access to social protection is a fundamental indicator of the success of national development policies.

    Track 5 Integration and Free Trade in the Americas.
    How Much Trade or Quality of Life Work on this topic will focus on analyzing the various economic integration schemes implemented in the Americas, in order to identify the labour standards, mechanisms, institutions and processes whose promotion is provided for in the respective founding instruments and in the other norms generated by the respective processes. Similarities and differences with other integration process in the world. It is well known that the above integration schemes were not limited to trade, but also involved integration efforts on matters of a purely political and cultural nature. The degree will be analyzed to which labour rights have been considered in such processes, with particular regard to the fundamental rights, to working conditions, employment promotion, social security, workplace safety and health, labour administration, etc. Particular attention will be paid to the labour effects of such integration schemes regarding the implementation of the various social and labour mechanisms built into these instruments, and to whether they did in fact represent a step forward with respect to the previous situation.

    This will imply analyzing the changes that have taken place in terms of both volume and quality of trade before and after integration, as well as in the quality of employment and of life in general for the population. Specific attention will be paid to how integration and free trade in the Americas have improved people's lives and to cases or areas where they have been counterproductive in that respect. Proposals and alternatives will be considered for the development of the labour dimension of economic integration. Similarities and differences with other integration processes in the world.

    The 14th World Congress will be organized by the Asociaciσn Peruana de Relaciones de Trabajo (APERT)

    For further information, please contact the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA)
    at International Labour Office, 1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland.
    Tel: +41.22.799.6841 or 7371, Fax: +41.22.799.8541 or 8749, or E-mail: [email protected]

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