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The IUF’s Transnational Company Work. Transnational company work. IUF has prioritized two forms of activity in this area: Campaigns or actions against companies that attack basic rights

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The IUF’s Transnational Company Work

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The IUF’s Transnational Company Work

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Transnational company work

IUF has prioritized two forms of activity in this area:

  • Campaigns or actions against companies that attack basic rights

  • Proactive action and strategies to gain recognition from companies like Coca-Cola for the IUF as an international trade union federation

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Recent campaigns and actions

  • Pakistan Sugar Mills

  • Belarus, trade union rights

  • BAT & Burma

  • Ecuador banana workers

  • Pearl Continental

  • Pepsi, Guatemala

  • Sky Chefs, USA

  • Coca Cola, Russia

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


That is campaign activity…. But what of pro-active IUF Company Strategy

  • What does it mean?

  • How is it developed within the IUF?

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


“Proactive” IUF company strategy has basically three stages:

  • Organize and build strength

  • Negotiate for international recognition from the target company

  • Move to international bargaining

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Organize

  • Use education projects to:

    • Strengthen existing unions

    • Create New unions

  • Recruitment of those unions to IUF

  • Company networks (eg in Coca-Cola through global and regional meetings)

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Negotiating recognition

  • Area of major progress in recent years

  • Achieved through seizing and building on opportunities, following-up on conflicts, maintaining contact with companies and dogged and determined negotiations

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Recognition 1997

  • Where were we in 1997?

  • Danone (formal)

  • Accor (formal)

  • Nestlé (formally limited to Europe but informally wider)

  • Coca-Cola (informal, irregular and limited having arisen from major successful international campaigns against Coca Cola over past years)

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Recognition 2003

  • Where are we today?

  • 26 companies and growing

  • Danone

  • Accor

  • Nestlé

  • Coca-Cola

  • British American Tobacco

  • Chiquita Brands International

  • Club Méditerannée

  • Compass

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


  • Del Monte Fresh Produce

  • Fonterra (formerly New Zealand Dairy Board, a major dairy transnational)

  • Fyffes

  • Hershey Foods

  • Imperial Tobacco

  • Interbrew

  • Japan Tobacco International

  • Kraft Foods

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


  • Mars

  • Parmalat

  • Philip Morris International

  • Scandinavian Tobacco Company

  • Altadis

  • Sodexho

  • Dimon Tobacco Leaf Processors

  • Standard Tobacco Leaf Processors

  • Univeral Tobacco Leaf Processors

  • Shangri-La Hotel Corporation

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Company recognition of the IUF 1997 - 2003

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Bargaining…..

  • About what issues?

  • Not workplace issues but more over …..

  • Rights and “space”

  • Space for…..

    • Rights to form and join unions (F. of A.)

    • Rights to collective bargaining

    • No discrimination, child and forced labour etc

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


What does this mean?

  • Setting standards through agreements with specific transnational companies (normally built on ILO Core Conventions)

  • Clarifying what the ILO standards actually mean

  • Establishing agreed union/company mechanisms for enforcing those standards

  • Negotiating agreed remedial action when those standards are not met

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


8 formal IUF international worker rights agreements:

  • Danone:

    • Union Rights

    • Equality

    • Training

    • Information

    • Restructuring and employment

  • Accor – union rights

  • Chiquita – Rights, employment and health and safety

  • Fonterra – Rights, employment and health and safety

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


3 “ formal” IUF/Company agreements to end conflicts

  • Del Monte – Guatemala (2001)

  • Interbrew – Montenegro (Dubrovnik Agreement) (2002)

  • Shangri-La Hotels – Indonesia (2003)

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


The case of Coca-Cola

  • Tough structure and tough company

  • US corporate culture

  • Common target of IUF actions and campaigns

  • Long-term target of IUF proactive strategy

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


“Proactive” work

  • Organize

  • Negotiate recognition

  • Bargain about rights

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


International organizing within Coca-Cola

  • Building unions (Guatemala, Philippines, India, Moscow etc)

  • Recruiting to the IUF - global IUF representation has never been stronger

  • Strengthening networks and our capacity for mutual solidarity

  • Global meeting in March 2003 and regional meetings throughout the year

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Negotiating for recognition

  • De facto recognition for the Coca-Cola “system” - which means we deal with bottlers and franchise holders

  • Initially informal and irregular contacts

  • Stuck at the informal and irregular level for some years

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Recognition breakthrough in 2003?

  • April 2003 agreement to hold twice-yearly meetings (starting in October 2003)

  • Small team from IUF:

    • Four affiliates and the general secretary

    • Head Office team from The Coca-Cola Company

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Nature of the planned twice-yearly meetings

  • Exchanging information

    • Mainly on rights and labour issues

    • Possibly on corporate global, regional and local strategies

  • Discussing problems and abuses of worker rights

  • Exploring influence of The Coca-Cola Company on bottlers and franchise holders

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Bargaining about rights with Coca-Cola?

  • Will see where the more formal twice-yearly meeting take us

  • Major challenge is an eventual agreement between the IUF and The Coca-Cola Company

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Principal obstacles to progress

  • Tough “US corporate culture”

  • Structure of the company and issue of responsibility for bottlers and franchise holders

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


Principal strengths we have

  • Vulnerable company

  • Strong global IUF representation throughout the company

  • Proven IUF capacity to effectively act against Coke

  • Clear and determined IUF strategy

  • IUF’s unique capacity to maintain long-term pressure on Coca-Cola

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


How the future with Coke looks and what it will need from us…

  • There will be difficult and slow process

  • Intelligent, tough but vulnerable company

  • Organizing globally will be one key issue

  • Maintaining constant pressure will be another key issue

  • Smart negotiating at global level a third

  • Effective solidarity and action from affiliates when necessary will be thekey issue

ILO Turin Centre, November, 2003


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