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Next-door relocation: Labour conditions and bargaining power in the Ukrainian made-for-brands garment industryThis article is based on a paper prepared for the 12th Danyliw Research Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine, held at the University of Ottawa, 16-18 November 2017. https://www.danyliwseminar.com/.Oksana DutchakNext-door relocation

Oksana Dutchak

SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe, 2017, vol. 20, issue 2, 197-212

Abstract: This article is an attempt to close the respective gap in our knowledge of labour pay rates and conditions in the Ukrainian made-for-brands garment sector. It is also an attempt to map the structural factors which are at the heart of the existing problems in both labour conditions and labour bargaining power. The latter is analysed in the framework of structure-agency relations to answer questions about the mechanisms of local labour empowerment/disempowerment in the context of this particular form of production. Using a literature review against which to contextualise original research into the article’s themes among Ukraine workers in the sector, the article concludes that there are significant differences as well as striking similarities within the Ukrainian made-for-brands garment sector; the former coming from the peculiarities of the post-Soviet context, the latter resulting from the peculiarities of supply chain operations and the neoliberal transformation of the economy. Bargaining power in the sector remains low, while state support has the contradictory effect of allowing producers to keep a disempowered labour force cheap.

Date: 2017
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