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The 2009 economic crisis and its impacts on workers

September 3, 2010

The global economic crisis has had major impacts on North American and European workers and consumers, including massive job losses and reductions in spending power. It has had even more serious consequences for workers in the global South. 

The economic crisis has reduced US and EU demand for at least some categories of imports from the South as economic uncertainty (about job security, income, and savings) leads Northern consumers to cut back on purchasing and brands and then retailers to cut back on production due to shrinking consumer markets. Many consumers have turned to sharply-discounted apparel and lower-end products, which will favour some brands and retailers over others, but in any event prices paid to suppliers will be affected.

MSN has been tracking the crisis as it has unfolded, as well as the responses to the crisis from companies, governments, multi-lateral institutions, and most importantly from grassroots worker organizations and their allies. In this section we have compiled some relevant statistics, articles, proposals and examples to help understand the crisis and how labour rights advocates can best respond.

MSN Publications on the crisis:


General analysis:


Impacts on women:


Impacts on the garment sector:


Impacts on the electronics sector:



Latin America:




Responsible Transitions:

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