A free, two-month course on global supply chains is being offered on-line by the Global Labour University starting on January 12, 2017.  The course is being taught in English by Penn State University Professor Mark Anner, one the leading labor-oriented researchers on the global economy. There’s a video trailer for the course and enrollment for the course is now open.

The course brochure has the following description of the course:

“Global Supply Chains, controlled by transnational corporations, determine the ‘rules of the game’ in today’s global economy. Decent Work gaps are widespread in these often highly profitable production networks.

“This multi-disciplinary online course is led by Prof Mark Anner who is one of the most knowledgeable researchers on labour conditions in the global garment industry. It discusses the challenges and chances of achieving rights at work and better working conditions in global supply chains, combining expertise from the world of work with cutting-edge academic research.

“Looking at the economic, the governance and the labour rights dimension of supply chains, this online course is designed to develop both knowledge and practical skills for organizing workers in global supply chains and engaging in policy processes to advance decent work in global supply chains.”

The schedule of the course, starting on Thursday, January 12, 2017, includes:

Week 1 Introduction to global supply chains
Week 2 The regulatory framework on trade, investment and taxation
Week 3 Global supply chains and development
Week 4 Decent work gaps in global supply chains
Week 5 Key elements of the existing governance framework
Week 6 Negotiated governance – strategies on the company and industry level
Week 7 Regulating global supply chains – strategies on the political and legal level
Week 8 Campaigning to win – strategies and tools

The Global Labour University is a network of trade unions, universities and the ILO (International Labor Organization) to deliver high-level qualification programs.  It offers Masters Courses in five different countries on trade unions, sustainable development, social justice, international labor standards, multinational companies, economic policies and global institutions and promotes research cooperation on global labor issues.

The GLU is a new approach to increase the intellectual and strategic capacity of workers’ organizations and to establish stronger working relationships between trade unions, the ILO, and the scientific community.

The GLU’s partner network consists of universities in five countries (Brazil, Germany, India, South Africa, and the United States), national and international trade unions, and non-governmental organizations.  Penn State’s Center for Global Workers’ Rights, directed by Professor Anner, is the US affiliate of the GLU.

Garrett Brown is a certified industrial hygienist who worked for Cal/OSHA for 20 years as a field Compliance officer and then served as Special Assistant to the Chief of the Division before retiring in 2014.  He has also been the volunteer Coordinator of the Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network since 1993 and has coordinated projects in Bangladesh, Central America, China, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Mexico and Vietnam.