LER Professor Joins U.S. Worker Delegation Abroad

For the second year in a row, LER Professor of Practice Paul Whitehead is serving as an observer to the U.S. worker delegation at the annual conference of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.  A branch of the United Nations, the ILO is unique among worldwide organizations in its tri-partite makeup.  Government, employer, and worker delegations share in the organization’s decision making power.

Held in June of each year, the International Labor Conference (ILC) attracts government, employer, and worker delegations from around the world.  The delegates debate labor issues, adopt international labor standards, and evaluate whether ILO member nations are translating those standards into national law and practice.

“There’s a lot going on at these conferences,” Whitehead said, “so you have to choose your topics of interest.”  He added that he devotes most of his attention to ongoing employer efforts to establish that the internationally recognized rights of workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining does not include a right to strike.  “That has been the single hottest dispute at the ILO over the last four years,” he reported.