Hazard or Hardship: Crafting Global Norms on the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work (Hardback)Jeffrey Hilgert (author)
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Today, hazardous work kills 2.3 million people each year and injures millions more. Among the most compelling yet controversial forms of legal protection for workers is the right to refuse unsafe work. The rise of globalization, precarious work, neoliberal politics, attacks on unions, and the idea of individual employment rights have challenged the protection of occupational health and safety for workers worldwide. In Hazard or Hardship, Jeffrey Hilgert presents the protection of refusal rights as a moral and a human rights question.
Hilgert finds that the protection of the right to refuse unsafe work, as constituted under international labor standards, is a failure and calls for a reexamination of worker health and safety policy from the ground up. The current model of protection follows an individual employment rights framework, which fails to protect workers against the inherent social inequalities within the employment relationship. To adequately protect the right to refuse as a human right, both in North America and around the world, Hilgert argues that a broader protection must be granted under a freedom of association framework. Hazard or Hardship will be a welcome resource for labor and environmental activists, trade union leaders, labor lawyers and labor law scholars, industrial relations experts, human rights advocates, public health professionals, and specialists in occupational safety and health.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
"Hazard or Hardship uncovers an important path-not-taken in the world of workplace health and safety standards. . . . It speaks to an important set of issues in a resolute voice. It has influenced my own understanding of health-and-safety regulation, and I believe it will be similarly helpful for other scholars of domestic and global labor standards."-Tim Bartley, Social Forces
"This book charts an important but hitherto neglected aspect of social protection in the field of occupational health and safety-the right of workers to refuse unsafe work. The right to refuse unsafe work should be inalienable in societies that respect and value their citizens, and it should be defined and institutionally facilitated so it can be exercised in a meaningful way. . . . This is a valuable book."-Michael Quinlan, British Journal of Industrial Relations
"Hazard or Hardship is a valuable treatment of an important topic."-Guy Standing, University of Bath and Basic Income Earth Network, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class
"Jeffrey Hilgert's book provides original insights into how national perspectives on the right to refuse unsafe work can influence an international debate. In doing so, it draws fresh attention to this important human right."-Anne Trebilcock, Institute for Labour Law, University of Goettingen, Germany
"Work can be dangerous, as far too many factory fires and mine explosions remind us. Yet as Jeffrey Hilgert shows, global norms for addressing occupational hazards may limit workers' ability to refuse to work in unsafe conditions, effectively protecting managerial prerogatives rather than strengthening workers' voices. Arguing that current approaches to workplace safety may inadvertently increase workers' vulnerability, the book offers a provocative contribution to global discussions about how governments, labor unions, and employers can protect workers from harm."-Gay Seidman, Martindale-Bascom Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of Beyond the Boycott: Labor Rights, Human Rights, and Transnational Activism