Productivity improvement and the role of trade unions

The issue of productivity improvement has assumed increasing importance with globalization and the ensuing global economic and social crises. Whilst globalization has increased competitiveness of enterprises in both the domestic and international markets, the global economic situation has largely dimmed the prospects for economic growth and employment creation. At the same time, while globalization has the potential to offer new opportunities for growth and expansion, it has also created conditions that have resulted in greater instability, insecurity and inequality, particularly in developing countries.

It is, therefore, imperative for emerging and developing economies to develop the capacity to pursue strategies to improve competitiveness of local-based enterprises in domestic and global markets. This requires the active participation of the main social partners and stakeholders, particularly employers' and workers ‘organizations, to support a favourable climate of industrial relations. This process is essentially important to workers’ organizations, as their members have been, on the whole, very much on the receiving end of the process of globalization and the challenges brought about by global economic situation.