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Dr Tim Connor

Lecturer

Newcastle Law School (Law)

Human Rights and Cheap Labour

Dr Tim ConnorIn April 2013 an eight-story building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1100 of the garment workers inside. When cracks had started to appear, bank workers in the same building were sent home. The company employing the garment workers had ordered them to continue working to supply major international brands.

Such incidents pose complex and challenging questions. Are human rights protections being undermined by the global pursuit of sources of quick and cheap production? Should attempts to address this focus only on legal regulation or should legal regulation be supplemented by non-judicial mechanisms such as codes of conduct, ombudspersons and human rights commissions?

Dr Connor is one of the chief investigators on an ARC Linkage project addressing these questions. The project involves twelve in-depth case studies across three industries (agribusiness, garments and mining) in two different countries (Indonesia and India).

So far they have conducted semi-structured interviews with more than 300 informants. With his fellow researchers, Dr Connor will draw on this data to develop a regulatory reform model to explain how the functions and powers of contrasting 'redress' mechanisms affect their ability to promote long term change in business behaviour.

Dr Tim Connor

Human Rights and Cheap Labour

In April 2013 an eight-story building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1100 of the garment workers inside. When cracks had started to appear, bank workers in the same building were sent home. The company employing the garment workers had ordered them…

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Career Summary

Biography

Tim Connor's research focuses on the relationship between voluntary and state-sanctioned governance of employment rights. From 1995 until 2010 he worked for Oxfam Australia, coordinating research and advocacy regarding workers' rights in corporate supply chains. This work involved frequent trips to various countries in Asia to conduct field research and to consult with workers and local civil society groups. In 2010 Tim was appointed as a lecturer at Newcastle Law School. He has taught Employment Law, Company Law, Marketing Law, Finance Law and the Law of Business Organisations. He is currently one of the chief investigators on an Australian Research Council linkage project investigating the effectiveness of the redress mechanisms available when transnational corporations are involved in human rights violations.

Research Expertise
TIm's expertise is in labour rights and corporate social accountability. In 2008 he completed a PhD which investigated whether corporate codes of conduct and multi-stakeholder initiatives are enhancing respect for labour rights in the supply chains of major transnational corporations. This research focused on the global sportswear industry, and in particular on the two largest global sportswear companies: Nike and Adidas. Tim has written a number of public reports on working conditions in this industry. He has also helped to facilitate a number of dialogue processes between companies, trade unions and non-governmental organisation regarding strategies for improving respect for workers' rights.

Teaching Expertise
Tim teaches Company Law and Employment Law to students undertaking the Bachelor of Laws and Law of Business Organisations and Marketing Law to students undertaking Bachelor degrees in Business and Commerce. The quality of his teaching was recognised in 2013 when he was awarded a National Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning by the Australian Government's Office for Learning and Teaching.

Collaborations
Between 2011 and 2014 Tim will be one of five chief investigators working on an ARC Linkage Project. This project involves investigating the effectiveness of the redress mechanisms available to vulnerable workers and communities when their human rights are violated as a result of transnational business activity (see http://corporateaccountabilityresearch.net/our-projects/evaluating-redress-mechanisms-project/ ).

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of New South Wales

Keywords

  • Codes of Conduct
  • Corporate Accountability
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • International Labour Law
  • Sweatshops

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
150303 Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement 30
180118 Labour Law 40
150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reporting 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
Newcastle Law School
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/02/1998 - 1/12/2001 Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship

PhD Research Scholarship

University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/02/2002 - 1/06/2010 Labour Rights Advocacy Coordinator Oxfam Australia
Advocacy Unit- International Labour Law
Australia

Awards

Recognition

Year Award
2013 National Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
Office for Learning and Teaching
2012 Vice-Chancellor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
University of Newcastle
2012 Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for Law Teaching in 2011
Faculty of Business and Law, University of Newcastle
2002 Award for an outstanding presentation (postgraduate)
Institute of Australian Geographers
2001 Best human rights paper at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
Human Rights Committee of the Association of American Geographers
1992 Phillips Fox Scholarship in Law
DLA Phillips Fox

Research Award

Year Award
1999 Ronald Henderson Postgraduate Scholarship in Social Economics
Ronald Henderson Research Foundation
1998 Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship
ARC
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2006 Connor T, Dent K, Offside! Labour Rights and Sportswear Production in Asia, Oxfam International, Melbourne, Victoria/Australia, 108 (2006) [A2]
2001 Connor TJ, Still waiting for Nike to do it : Nike's labor practices in the three years since CEO Phil Knight's speech to the National Press Club, Global Exchange, San Francisco, California, 115 (2001) [A2]

Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Connor T, Robertson B, Griffiths TG, Phelan L, 'Swimming against the neoliberal tide: The campaign to save Mayfield pool', Radical Newcastle, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney 232-239 (2015)
Co-authors Liam Phelan, Tom Griffiths
2002 Connor TJ, 'Rerouting the race to the bottom? Transnational corporations, labour practice codes of conduct, and workers' right to organize - The case of Nike, Inc', Moral Imperialism: A Critical Anthology, New York University Press, New York 166-182 (2002) [B1]

Journal article (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Connor T, Phelan L, 'Antenarrative and Transnational Labour Rights Activism: Making Sense of Complexity and Ambiguity in the Interaction between Global Social Movements and Global Corporations', Globalizations, 12 149-163 (2015)
DOI 10.1080/14747731.2013.814458
Co-authors Liam Phelan
2015 Connor T, Phelan L, 'Antenarrative and Transnational Labour Rights Activism: Making Sense of Complexity and Ambiguity in the Interaction between Global Social Movements and Global Corporations', Globalizations, 12 149-163 (2015) [C1]

Abstract: This paper draws on antenarrative research and writing techniques to analyse the long-running transnational campaign seeking to improve respect for human rights in the s... [more]

Abstract: This paper draws on antenarrative research and writing techniques to analyse the long-running transnational campaign seeking to improve respect for human rights in the supply chains of Nike and other major sportswear companies. The antenarrative approach challenges scholars to look beyond pre-existing expectations, both in terms of which actors and processes are likely to be most influential and in terms of what is motivating participation in those processes which are significant. In this paper we construct antenarrative accounts of two aspects of the Nike campaign and counterpoint each of our antenarratives with an established scholarly account based on more traditional narrative approaches. We conclude antenarrative analysis can provide useful insights into interaction between global activist networks and global corporations, particularly by drawing attention to the generative possibilities of the complex combination of ordered and disordered processes which often characterise that interaction.

DOI 10.1080/14747731.2013.814458
Co-authors Liam Phelan
2014 Griffiths T, Connor T, Robertson B, Phelan L, 'Is Mayfield Pool saved yet? Community assets and their contingent, discursive foundations', Community Development Journal, 49 280-294 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/cdj/bst039
Co-authors Tom Griffiths, Liam Phelan
2013 McGee J, Guihot M, Connor T, 'Rediscovering Law Students as Citizens: Critical Thinking and the Public Value of Legal Education', Alternative Law Journal, 38 77-81 (2013) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 1
2013 Connor T, Haines F, 'Networked regulation as a solution to human rights abuse in global supply chains? The case of trade union rights violations by Indonesian sports shoe manufacturers', Theoretical Criminology, 17 197-214 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/1362480612472783
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2004 Connor TJ, 'Time to scale up cooperation? Trade unions, NGOs, and the International anti-sweatshop movement', Development in Practice, 14 61-70 (2004) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/0961452032000170631
Citations Scopus - 19
Show 3 more journal articles

Conference (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
1999 Connor TJ, ''Not only what is required, but whenever possible, what is expected of a leader': The White House Apparel Industry Partnership workplace code of conduct and the Nike factory worker', Geodiversity : Readings in Australian Geography at the Close of the 20th Century, Fremantle, WA (1999) [E1]
1999 O'Neill PM, O'Leary GA, Phillips MW, Sutherland WA, Connor TJ, 'Dialetics of governance', Geodiversity : Readings in Australian Geography at the Close of the 20th Century, Fremantle (1999) [E1]
1999 Connor TJ, 'Where's the umpire? The code of labour practice for goods licensed to carry the logos of the Sydney olympics and paralympics', How You Play the Game: Conference Proceedings. The Contribution of Sport to the Protection of Human Rights, Sydney (1999) [E2]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 4
Total funding $55,386

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20131 grants / $29,886

Evaluating redress mechanisms governing the human rights practices of transnational business: lessons for institutional design and operation$29,886

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Dr Kate Macdonald, Ms Shelley Marshall, Professor Fiona Haines, Doctor Tim Connor, Professor Sheldon Leader
Scheme Linkage Projects
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1301224
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

20111 grants / $5,000

Research Assistance for book preparation/ field research in India$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Tim Connor
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1100393
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20001 grants / $5,500

An Empirical Study of the Use of Theatre as a Tool for Community Development Amongst Factory Workers in Indonesia.$5,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt, Ms Rebecca Conroy, Associate Professor Phillip O'Neill, Doctor Tim Connor, Conal McKenna
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2000
Funding Finish 2000
GNo G0178839
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19991 grants / $15,000

The impact of Globalisation on Labour Rights.$15,000

Funding body: Ronald Henderson Research Foundation

Funding body Ronald Henderson Research Foundation
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip O'Neill, Doctor Tim Connor
Scheme Postgraduate Research Scholarship
Role Investigator
Funding Start 1999
Funding Finish 1999
GNo G0178592
Type Of Funding Donation - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFD
UON Y
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Dr Tim Connor

Position

Lecturer
Newcastle Law School
Faculty of Business and Law

Focus area

Law

Contact Details

Email tim.connor@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 6363
Fax (02) 4921 6931

Office

Room MC165
Building McMullin
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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