Gulf Cooperation Council Aff Notes

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Gulf Cooperation Council Aff


I only read this aff once – it was a solid util aff with a perception-based advantage.

1AC Material

1AC Gewirth Stuff

The 6 governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council ought to require all employers to pay a living wage to all workers, regardless of nationality, and ensure the enforcement of the minimum wage standards.

The plan is enforceable and avoids labor exploitation by equalizing bargaining power

HRW 14 [Human Rights Watch “Gulf Countries: Increase Migrant Worker Protection” NOVEMBER 23, 2014] AT

The proposals made by GCC countries fall far short of the changes needed to protect domestic workers’ rights, safety, and dignity,” said Elizabeth Tang, general secretary of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF). “GCC countries should join the growing number of countries worldwide that are extending full protection of their labor laws to domestic workers, including a minimum wage, a weekly rest day, the right to organize, and social benefits.” The GCC has discussed a potential region-wide standard employment contract for domestic workers. Recent media reports suggest that the GCC is also considering establishing a body to coordinate policies on hiring domestic workers that would consist of recruitment agency and government representatives. These developments have lacked transparency and have suffered from inadequate consultation with migrant domestic workers, trade unions, and migrants’ rights organizations. Migrants’ countries of origin are also discussing their own standard contract through a separate process. “Standard contracts are not a substitute for labor law reform, and taken alone do not meet the standards in the ILO Domestic Workers Convention,” said Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC. “The GCC should work in closer coordination with – not separately from – countries of origin to develop labor migration policies that fully respect the human and labor rights of migrants.” Migrants in the Gulf make an important contribution both to the economies of their own countries and those of the countries where they work. In 2011, migrant workers in GCC countries sent home more than US$60 billion in remittances. Competition for jobs among the workers’ countries of origin, combined with their relative lack of bargaining power in relation to the labor-destination countries, means that the pressure they exert for better labor protections is weak. “The meetings over the next few days provide a key opportunity to promote regional minimum standards that would avoid a counterproductive race to the bottom in labor conditions,” said William Gois of Migrant Forum Asia. “The governments should develop a concrete action plan, in consultation with migrant workers themselves and the organizations that represent them, with benchmarks to monitor its progress.” Kuwait University Law School will host an event on November 23, 2014, at which panelists from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, IDWF, the ITUC, and Migrant Forum Asia will discuss the rights of migrant domestic workers. The groups recommend that the governments: Establish and enforce comprehensive labor law protections for migrant workers, including domestic workers; Reform the kafala (sponsorship) visa system to ensure that workers can change employers without being required to first obtain their consent; Remove the “exit permit” requirement in Saudi Arabia and Qatar; Strengthen regulation and monitoring of labor recruitment agencies, including eliminating recruitment fees for workers; Ensure that migrants have access to justice and support services; and Expand the Abu Dhabi Dialogue to include labor-origin countries from Africa, such as Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya, and participation by nongovernmental groups. Governments should ratify and implement international labor and human rights standards, the groups said. These include the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, the ILO Forced Labor Protocol, and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

Lack of a minimum wage allows labor recruiters to break their contracts with laborers, which is a form of labor exploitation – a minimum wage standardizes expectations which solves

Koirala 13 [(Shashwat, Univ of Chicago Undergraduate Law Review) “THE FAILURES OF QATAR’S LABOR LAWS TO PROTECT MIGRANT WORKERS’ RIGHTS” March 3, 2013] AT

The first problem regarding the livelihood of the migrant workers is related to wages. In Qatar, these workers’ wages typically range from $8 to $11 per day, but sometimes this number can dip down to $6.75.[12] These wages are often less than what they were promised when they were recruited.[13] More importantly, these wages are often inadequate for the subsistence of the worker. Qatar’s wage determining mechanism is also flawed. Qatar’s Labor Ministry notes that a labor contract between the employer and the migrant worker may be signed either in the worker’s home country or when he enters Qatar. In either case, the representatives of both countries must approve the contract. However, no guidelines on possible minimum wage rates are made available to either party.[14] Moreover, even if a certain wage was promised to the workers, employers often make unexpected deductions to that promised wage by levying the burden of costs like bedding and health care on the workers, even though Qatari laws don’t allow such deductions.[15]

The workers travel to the Gulf and take up labor contracts there, in effect limiting their own freedom to pursue other goals in expectation of good pay. Not meeting this expectation violates their freedom to make plans for the future and decide for themselves.

It also violates the mutuality of rights required by the PGC

Gewirth 96 [(alan, philosopher) “The community of rights”] AT

A prime alleged basis of the power to dismiss is the doctrine of "employment at will," according to which all employers "may dismiss their employees at will... for good cause, for no cause, or even for cause morally wrong, without thereby being guilty of legal wrong.*87 This sweeping doctrine has undergone restrictions both through collective bargaining agree- ments whereby workers can be fired only for "just cause* and through legal provisions which prohibit employers from firing workers on grounds of union membership or because of racial, religious, or sex discrimi- nation.88 But there persists the more general thesis that the unrestricted right to dismiss employees is justified because it reflects the "contract at will" which characterizes all market relations. Thus, although the restrictions previously noted have led American courts "to view the employment- at-will doctrine, strictly applied, as an anachronism,"89 the contractually thesis underlying it still merits attention. The general idea of the contract-at-will thesis is held to be "mutuality": each contractor voluntarily agrees that the other has certain rights against [her] him, and, because the contract is voluntary, each can terminate it at will, that is, by his or her unilateral decision. Thus, on the one hand, the employer has the right to receive specified work from the worker, and the worker has the right to receive specified pay from the employer. And, on the other hand, just as the worker has the right to terminate her employment temporarily by striking or permanently by quitting, so the employer has the right to terminate the workers employment by firing her. In this way, then, "the right of the employe to quit the service of the employer, for what- ever reason, is the same as the right of the employer, for whatever reason, to dispense with the service of such employe. . . . In all such particulars the employer and the employe have equality of right."90 This purely formal conception of equality and mutuality ignores the substantive inequalities of need and power between the individual employer and the individual worker {5-2; 6.1). To secure his livelihood the worker needs this particular job far more than the employer needs this par- ticular worker. The employer usually has a far greater pool of willing workers to draw upon than the worker has of willing employers, so that the employer can replace this particular worker far more readily than the worker can replace this particular employer. It follows that the employer's right to dismiss at will any particular worker has far more deleterious con- sequences for the latter's freedom and well-being than does the worker's right to "dismiss* his employer by quitting his job.91 The worker's right to quit his job for a better one is hence not parallel to the employer's right to fire a worker at will.92 The equality and mutuality of rights upheld by the PGC thus require a substantive as well as a formal consideration (see 3.1).93 The doctrine of employment*at-wiII should be rejected because its formal equality of rights does not take account, as the principle of human rights requires, of the substantive inequalities between employers and workers with regard to effective freedom and consequences for well-being. Because of these in- equalities, special protection must be provided for the freedom and well- being of workers with regard to their retention of employment. This rejection of the unqualified thesis of "contract at will" does not, as such, remove the prerogatives of management. To reject that there are no limits on the employer's right of dismissal does not entail that the employer has no right either to set appropriate work standards whose violation might, after due process, justify dismissal94 or to react to market or technological develop- ments that may require reductions of the workforce.95
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