A brief outline of the activities of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs of the U.S. Department of Labor


Material Information

A brief outline of the activities of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs of the U.S. Department of Labor
Physical Description:
5 p. : ; 27 cm.
Weaver, George L. P., 1912-
United States -- Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Dept. of Labor
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
George L-P Weaver.
General Note:
Cover title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004955850
oclc - 48421009
System ID:

Full Text



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A Brief Outline of the Activities of the
Bureau of International Labor Affairs

of the U.

Department of Labor

George L-P Weaver



International Affairs


A Brief Outline of the Activities of the
Bureau of International Labor Affairs
of the U. S. Department of Labor

The evolvement of labor and manpower factors as important components
in the conduct of U. S. foreign policy has greatly increased the activities and
operating programs of the United States Department of Labor in world affairs.

The Department's activities in the international field are directed by the
Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs, and are centered in the
Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB). The wealth of knowledge, re-
sources and experience gained in a wide range of domestic labor and manpower
activity supports the Department in its international activities and enables it to
play a significant role in the planning, development and execution of broad foreign
labor policies for the U. S. Government.

The responsibilities of the Labor Department in the international field are
in seven major areas:

International Labor Policy Development
International Technical Assistance
Foreign Economic Policy Development and Trade Negotiation
Participation in Intergovernmental Organizations
Participation in Administration of the Foreign Service
Cultural and Informational Programs

International Labor Policy Development

Manpower utilization and labor institutions are among the key elements
influencing the political, economic and social developments of nations. They
can be particularly important forces in fostering sound economic development
and growth of democratic principles among the less-developed countries. The
Department of Labor, by virtue of its responsibilities and its immersion in
manpower and labor activities, provides the link between the interests of Ameri-
can wage-earners and institutions concerned with labor and the foreign policy
interests of the U. S.

Primarily through a small group of "area" and international trade union
specialists in ILAB, the Department of Labor follows labor developments abroad
and brings to bear the resources and technical knowledge of the entire Department
relevant to U. S. international activities in the labor and manpower fields.

This group maintains contact with foreign labor attaches in the U. S. and
with U. S. and international trade union officials, and provides the focal point
within the Department for serving. assinine and evaluating U. S. labor attaches

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To develop and gain international acceptance
standards for goods moving in international trade.

of enforceable fair labor

Within the framework of a U. S.


which looks towards a


expansion of world trade, a crucial issue is the


of expanded imports

and exports on domestic employment and the utilization of manpowe

r resources.

That increased exports mean more jobs is comparatively


to demonstrate.

The relationship between jobs and competitive imports is a far more complex


In some instances such imports may increase


or bring about

a more rational distribution of manpower resour


In some instances,

ports may cause dislocation of workers in industries particularly vulnerable
to import competition.


Within the U. S.
policy and its exe

Government interagency structure which deals with
.cution, the Labor Department has the responsibility

for contributing information and guidance on labor and manpower

The resources

r effects.

of all the technical and operating Bureaus are brought into

the operation and coordinated by ILAB.

Participation in Intergovernmental Organizations

Generally speaking,

most international organizations have a direct or

indirect effect on labor and business abroad through police
influence exerted in the development of emerging nations.

s adopted and


in turn,

has many implications on the U. S. domestic scene.

The Department of Labor plays a major role in two international


in particular:

the International Labor Organization (ILO)

and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The ILO is a tripartite intergovernmental organization, an agency of
the United Nations, with 118 member countries at the beginning of 1967.
Tripartite delegations to the ILO from member countries include repre-
sentatives of the workers and the employers as well as the government.
Founded in 1919 on the concept that "lasting peace can be established only


based on social justice"

, the objective of the ILO is improvement

of living and working conditions throughout the world.

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs heads the

U. S.

delegation to the annual ILO Conference at Geneva,


as U


S. delegate on the ILO Governing Body.

The OECD is an outgrowth of the old Marshall Plan and was reorganized
on its current structure in 1961 to provide 20 Western industrialized nations,

plus Japan,

with an instrument to aid in increasing economic growth and em-


to aid in raising standards of living,

and to help expand world trade

for the less-developed countries and industrialized countries,



The Department of Labor handles all U. S. participation in the
manpower and social policy matters of the OECD, and provides the U. S.
delegate to the Organization's Manpower and Social Affairs Committee.
The Department also assists the President's Council of Economic Advisors
in its work with the OECD's Economic Policy Committee.

The Department has also been increasingly involved with the United
Nations, and a number of its subordinate organizations in addition to the
ILO. The UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which is concerned
with coordinating the work of the various UN specialized agencies and regional
commissions, usually has an ILAB staff member on the U. S. Delegation to
its meetings. The Department of State asks Department of Labor assistance
in providing position papers (and occasionally staff members to act as advisers
to U. S. Delegations) to meetings of some of the UN's regional commissions.

Participation in Administration of the Foreign Service

The Assistant Secretary for International Affairs is a member of the
Board of the Foreign Service as provided in the Foreign Service Act of 1946
as well as current executive orders. The Department of Labor participates
in the overall administration of the Foreign Service and is represented on the
Board of Examiners, the Junior Officer Selection Board, and the annual Foreign
Service selection board exercise.

The Department participates in decisions on assignments, transfers,
reassignments and career development of labor officers in the Foreign Service
and works with State on assignments of other Foreign Service officers for part-
time labor work.

Also, the Department participates in recruitment, examination, orientation
and training of Foreign Service officers and helps keep them supplied with pertinent
information on the U. S. labor scene.

Cultural and Information Programs

The Labor
the Department o
the U. S. worker
meant, and other I
of the people and

Department participates in cultural
f State for the purpose of improving
's role in society, and to provide fo
leaders and specialists the opportun
institutions of this country.

exchange programs through
understanding abroad of
reign trade union, govern-
ity to make on-site studies


rican wor
ys. Freqi


, his way
tlyU. S. t
staged in
h as wnrk

exhibits, the Department tells the story of the
of life, his standard of living, the freedoms he
rade unionists participate in the exhibits. Each
Eastern European countries where seminars dealing
2RafPtv arp snmptirmpn rnnrldtrtad hr rT~norttmant


In keeping the labor officers of U. So foreign affairs agencies appraised
of developments in the U. S. and international labor fields, as well as others
interested in international labor matters, the Department publishes directories
of international trade union organizations, material on world labor, trade union
and economic matters, and a bi-monthly magazine, International Labor, dealing
with Department programs and general activities in the international labor field.


The Department of Labor engages in general research in international
trade union activities and specific research into economic and labor conditions
abroad. This work is performed in the Office of Foreign Labor and Trade of
the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

International statistical comparisons are done on unemployment rates in
the U. S. and abroad, job vacancy statistics in selected foreign countries, trends
in unit labor costs in manufacturing in the U. S. and other major industrialized
countries, trends in wholesale and consumer prices in a number of countries,
man-days lost through strikes at home and abroad, and the extent of poverty
in the U. S. and four highly industrialized West European countries.

Monographs are published on labor law and practice in various countries
around the world, labor digests on various countries and regions, and reports
on labor in selected countries such as Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, etc.

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