The institutional environment and its influence on political options to Protect Winnipeg’s Female garments Workers against the impact of globalization
AuthorSánchez García, Rosa Evelia
The principal objective of this paper is to identify the relationship between the results of the Canadian policies implemented to protect female workers against the impact of globalization on the garment industry and the institutional setting in which this labour market is immersed in Winnipeg. This research paper begins with a brief summary of the institutional theory approach that sheds light on the analysis of the effects of institutions on the policy options to protect female workers of the Winnipeg garment industry. Next, this paper identifies the set of beliefs, formal procedures, routines, norms and conventions that characterize the institutional environment of the female workers of Winnipeg’s garment industry. Subsequently, this paper describes the impact of free trade policies on the garment industry of Winnipeg. Afterward, this paper presents an analysis of the barriers that the institutional features of the garment sector in Winnipeg can set to the successful achievement of policy options addressed to protect the female workforce of this sector. Three policy options are considered: ethical purchasing; training/retraining programs and social engagement support for garment workers; and protection of migrated workers through promoting and facilitating bonds between Canada’s trade unions and trade unions of the labour sending countries. Finally, this paper concludes that the formation of isolated cultural groups inside of factories; the belief that there is gender and race discrimination on the part of the garment industry management against workers; the powerless social conditions of immigrant women; the economic rationality of garment factories’ managers; and the lack of political will on the part of Canada and the labour sending countries to set effective bilateral agreements to protect migrate workers, are the principal barriers that divide the actors involved in the garment industry in Winnipeg. This division among the principal actors of Winnipeg’s garment industry impedes the change toward more efficient institutions and, hence, the successful achievement of policy options addressed to protect women workers.