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International Instruments for Protection and Promotion of Workers Rights in the Era of Globalization.

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Presentation on theme: "International Instruments for Protection and Promotion of Workers Rights in the Era of Globalization."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Instruments for Protection and Promotion of Workers Rights in the Era of Globalization

2 Points for Discussions rSummary of international instruments available for trade unions in their campaigns for core labour standards; rFocus on multinational enterprises as a focal point for trade union campaigns

3 International Instruments ILO Conventions and supervisory mechanism ILO Tripartite Declaration on MNEs and Follow-up OECD Guidelines on MNEs UN GLOBAL compact Private voluntary initiatives Old code of conduct New code of conduct Framework agreements Policies and Strategies for Trade Unions

4 ILO Conventions: Supervisory Mechanism rFor Ratified Conventions –Article 22 Report - Review by CEACR –Article 24 : Representation –Article 26 : Complaint rFor Non-Ratified Conventions –Article 19(5-e) Report rFor Freedom of Association matters –Special procedure through Committee on Freedom of Association Annual Review on Non-ratified Core Standards General Survey ILO Declaration +

5 ILO Tripartite Declaration on Principles concerning MNEs rAdopted in 1977 by GB (amended in 2000) as a voluntary instrument to: –Regulate conduct of MNEs –Define the terms of MNEs relations with host countries, esp. in labour-related and social issues rAims for: –Enhancing the positive social and labour effects of the operations of MNEs

6 ILO MNE Declaration : Follow-up rA Procedure adopted by GB in 1980 (revised in 1986) as promotional tool to: –provide for the submission of requests for interpretation in cases of dispute on the meaning/application of its provisions rSurvey –The effect given to the principles of the Declaration is monitored through a periodic survey (7th Survey for 96-99)

7 OECD Guidelines for MNEs rAdopted in 1976, and reviewed in 2000 rGuidelines is: –Recommendations addressed by governments to MNEs –Voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct rMajor components: NCP, CIME, and TUAC

8 OECD Guidelines : 2000 Review rExpanded Coverage –All core standards, environment performance, human rights, corruption and consumer interests –Global application, not just in OECD countries rStrengthened National Contact Point (NCPs) –handle enquiries, assist in solving problems, and report and meet annually on national experiences –promote Guidelines for effective implementation rNew Actor : NGO

9 UN Global Compact (1) rShared value for the global market, promoting global citizenship r9 Principles –Human Rights 1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights. 2. Make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

10 UN Global Compact (2) - Labour 3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; 4. The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour; 5. The effective abolition of child labour; 6. Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment occupation. - Environment 7. Business should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges; 8. Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; 9. Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

11 Development of Private Voluntary Initiatives (PVI) As response of global community to the growing power of MNEs rAlternative Trade Organizations rSocial Labelling (SL) rCodes of Conduct (COC) rNew Codes of Conduct (New COC) rFramework Agreements (FA) 1970s 1990s

12 Code of Conduct…(old) rUnilateral declaration, mainly for social appeal rCode of conduct for business –consumer rights, product safety or environmental protection –ethical behaviour codes for employees rCode of conduct for international business –ILO MNE Declaration –OECD Guidelines for MNEs –attempt by UN to set a global code Note: These are not VPIs!

13 New Code of Conduct Four Major Characteristics rPurely private, voluntary initiative (PVI) rResponse to the situation of poor labour standards created by the failure of national governments and of international community; rinternational application rCross-cutting application to suppliers and subcontractors

14 Definition of New Code of Conduct Commitments voluntarily made by companies, associations or other entities which put forth standards and principles for the conduct of business activities in the marketplace (Workers tool or PR ploy? – by Dr. I. Wick)

15 Number of New Codes r246 codes (June 2000 by OECD study) -118 by individual companies, 92 by industry and trade associations, 32 by partnerships between stakeholders and 4 by inter-governmental organizations -Only 163 mention monitoring -Only 30% mention freedom of association, and only10.1% refer to ILO codes

16 Codes of Conduct (issues by frequency) Labour Standards 148 Environment 145 Consumers Protection 117 Corruption 56 Competition 50 Access to Information 45 Science and Technology 26 Taxation 1

17 Codes of Conduct: Contents Satisfactory Working Environment 75.7 In accordance with the law 65.5 Eliminating Discrimination or sexual harassment 60.8 Compensation 45.3 Prohibition of Child Labour 43.2 Obligations for Suppliers and Sub-contractors 41.2 Prohibition of Forced Labour 38.5 Training 32.4 Working Hours 31.8 Freedom of Association 29.7

18 Codes of Conduct: Contents (cont.) Specific Mention of Human Rights 25.0 Monitoring 24.3 Right to Information 13.5 Mention of ILO Codes 10.1 Promotion 8.8 Information provided reasonably in advance 3.4 Eliminating Excessive use of Temporary Jobs 3.4 Flexible Relationships in Work Environment 0.7

19 Certification Systems and Social Quality Labels ETI (Ethical trade Initiative, UK) FLA (Fair Labour Association, USA) FWF (Fair Wear Foundation, NL) TCFUA (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia WRC (Worker Right Consortium, USA) WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production, USA) ISEA (Institute of Social Ethical Accountability, UK) FLO (Fair Label Organization, UE) SA8000 (Social Accountability 8000, USA/Europe) Social Accountability Certification for Consumers (Italy) DET Sociale Indeks (Denmark) Label Socialment Responsable (France)

20 Why New Codes are important for Trade Unions? New Codes are on labour practice Most companies adopt COC without involving trade unions So, they can be used as an excuse for having no union Great potential and also danger Truly applied, codes may establish ILSs as binding international framework for responsible corporate behaviour So, unions involvement is vital

21 Some Questions to be Considered rCan codes really promote freedom of association and collective bargaining? rShould national trade union organizations negotiate codes with MNEs? rShould trade unions be responsible for implementation/monitoring of codes? rWhat are credible systems of verification?

22 Framework Agreements An agreement negotiated between an MNE and an international trade union organization (such a GUFs) concerning the international activities (or behaviour)of the company Main purpose of framework agreements is to establish an ongoing relationship between the MNE and the GUFs to frame principles of industrial relations and good labour practices

23 Major Framework Agreements rIUF - Danone (1988), Accor hotel group (1995), Nestle (1996), Del Monte (2000) and Chiquita (2001) rIFBWW - Ikea (1998), Faber-Castell (2000), Hochtief (2000) rICEM - Statoil (1998), Freudenberg (2000) rUNI - Telefonica (2000), OTE (2001), Carrefour (2001)

24 Codes of conduct and FA Codes of ConductInternational Framework Agreements Unilateral actionsNegotiations between workers and management Not all Core Labour Standards are necessarily acknowledged All Core Labour Standards are explicitly acknowledged Rarely address suppliersUsually include suppliers Monitoring, when envisaged, is under the managements control Unions are called to participate in the implementation process Feeble basis for dialogueStrong basis for dialogue between unions and management

25 Points for Observations of F.A./CoC rSubstance (reference to core labor standards) rParticipation (trade unions / social actors) rSocial responsibility (production chains) rIndependent verification rComplaint and appeals (dispute settlement) rIncentives (sanctions)

26 Three Important Aspects for CoC and FA rCapacity of GUFs to engage in F.A. or Codes of conduct with a large number of MNEs rCapacity of MNEs to control subcontractors or supply-chains rPractical applications (implementation) of F.A.and codes of conduct in regions, countries and local communities

27 Regional Economic Agreement National Labour Relation / Tripartite Committees ILO Tripartite Declaration on MNCs International Instruments International National Private Public ILO Declaration on F.P.R.W. Framework Agreements Code of Conducts Social Labelling Labour Legislation CFA ILCs UN Global Compact OECD Guidelines for MNCs

28 Policy and Strategy for T.U. rSet up institutional mechanisms and capacities to fully utilize all the available international instruments –Regular reporting –Complaints procedures in case of violation –Multilateral approaches to problem-solving rImportance of International, Regional, and Sub- regional trade union networks/IT and communication systems


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