Government action in support of globalization has to rely on policy planning and delivery services provided by the public sector. This sector has to be restructured to meet the demands of, or overcome problems arising from, globalization (eg, demands from MNC’s and domestic firms for less “red tape”; and the problem of enterprises having to rely on inefficient public enterprises for provision of basic services). In this regard, Ministries of Labour often have a narrow and reactive role. Given the importance of industrial relations to economic development, they should be working more actively with planning and finance Ministries to generate development options, create more coherent and coordinated strategies and, generally, improve public sector efficiency. There is also a need for governments to include trade unions in any public sector reform process and take account of their major concerns.
Finally, governments should continue to promote bipartite and tripartite institutions and processes to establish appropriate labour policy and standards. Inputs from all relevant parties should be considered. Not only will this limit potential conflict in the future, but (particularly where major business and investment interests – including those of MNC’s – are involved) it should establish a sound basis for investment and economic and employment growth.
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