International Instruments for Protection and Promotion of International Labour Standardsin the Era of Globalization
Challenges Today • Mission for Trade Unions Achievement of “social inclusion”, based on fair, stable, sustainable and predictable development. • What’s Needed? To reach as many workers (and their families) as possible and to secure/protect their rights and interests. • How? By effectively utilizing all the means available for trade unions to protect and promote workers’ rights and interests.
Main Assumptions • The key target of trade union campaigns is Multinational Enterprises (MNEs); • There are effective international instruments available for trade unions in their campaigns for workers’ rights and interests, but they are not fully used; • If trade unions use them more effectively & intensively, they can bring about positive changes in the behaviours of MNEs.
Summary of International Instruments International ILS ILO F.P.R.W. Declaration Framework Agreements UN Global Compact CFA Reporting Initiatives Corporate Social Responsibilities OECD MNE Guidelines ILO MNE Declaration Code of Conducts Regional/Bilateral Economic Agreement Public Private National Labour Relation / Tripartite Committees Political Campaigns/Lobbying Labour Legislation National
ILO Conventions:Supervisory Mechanism • For Ratified Conventions • Article 22 Report - Review by CEACR/CCACR • Article 24: Representation • Article 26: Complaint • For Non-Ratified Conventions • Article 19(5-e) Report • For violations of FOA rights • Special procedure through Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) ILO F.P.R.W. Declaration Annual Review Report on Non-ratified Core Standards + General Survey
ILO Tripartite Declaration on Principles concerning MNEs (1) • Adopted in 1977 by GB (amended in 2000) as a voluntary, promotional instrument to: • Regulate conduct of MNEs • Define the terms of MNEs relations with host countries, esp. in labour-related and social issues • Aims to: • Enhance the positive social and labour effects of the operations of MNEs
ILO MNE Declaration (2):Follow-up Procedures • An “Interpretation” procedure adopted by GB in 1980 (revised in ‘86): • provides for the submission of requests for interpretation in cases of dispute on the meaning/application of its provisions. • Periodical “Survey” • The effect given to the principles of the Declaration is “monitored” through a periodic survey (7th Survey conducted for 96-99)
ILO MNE Declaration (3):Workers’ Participation in Follow-up • In the Survey, trade unions can (and should) send their comments to the Government or directly to the ILO concerning the behaviours of MNEs doing business in their countries; • In the 7th Survey, it was noted that trade unions did not actively participate. • The main point is that if the ILO does not receive comments from workers, it has no choice but to BELIEVE the report by Gov’ts.
OECD Guidelinesfor MNEs (1) • Adopted in 1976, with major review in 2000 • Guidelines is: • a multilaterally endorsed non-binding code of corporate conduct addressed to multinational enterprises (by the Governments); • Voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct • 38 countries (30 OECD members + 8 non-members) are adhering to the Guidelines • Major components: NCP, CIME, and TUAC
OECD Guidelines (2): 2000 Review • Expanded Coverage • All core standards, environment performance, human rights, corruption and consumer interests • Global application, not just in OECD countries • Strengthened National Contact Point (NCPs) • are responsible for encouraging observance of the Guidelines • handle enquiries, assist in solving problems, and report and meet annually on national experiences • promote Guidelines for effective implementation • New Actor: NGOs
OECD Guidelines (3): Areas Covered • Concepts and Principles • General Policies • Disclosure • Employment and Industrial Relations • Environment • Combating Bribery • Consumer Interests • Science and Technology • Competition • Taxation
OECD Guidelines (4): Implementation • “Specific instances” - a facility that allows interested parties to call a company’s alleged non-observance of the Guidelines’ recommendations to the attention of an NCP; • Use of the Guidelines’ implementation processes by business, trade unions, NGOs and by governments has been increasing; • Promotional activities by NCPs: • Reflecting the Guidelines in domestic standards. (Australia) • National corporate responsibility programme and report. (Finland) • Comparison with national law. (New Zealand) • Training of entry-level government economists. (Netherlands) • National Funds use Guidelines as a benchmark. (Norway) • Major international conference on the role of development cooperation agencies in corporate responsibility (Sweden)
OECD Guidelines (5): NCP • The structure of NCPs: • 21 NCPs are single government departments; • 6 NCPs are multiple government departments; • 9 NCPs are tripartite; and • 2 NCPs are quadripartite. • Some 78 specific “instances” have been filed: • Austria (2), Belgium (1), Brazil (1), Canada (4), Chile (1), Czech Republic (5), Denmark (2), Finland (1), France (11), Germany (6), Japan (5), Korea (3), Mexico (1), Netherlands (11), Norway (1), Poland (2), Portugal (1), Spain (1), Sweden (2), Switzerland (2), Turkey (1), UK (3) and US (11).
OECD Guidelines (6): Challenges • Parallel legal proceedings; • Non adhering countries; • Closer link with UN Commission on Human Rights; • Business and human rights; and • Outsourcing and relocation.
UN Global Compact (1) • Initiative by Kofi Annan, launched in 2000; • Seeks to advance corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solutions for a more sustainable and inclusive global economy • Voluntary commitment by companies to support 10 Principles in four areas: • 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.
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. - Anti-Corruption 10.The promotion and adoption of initiatives to counter all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery.
UN Global Compact (3) • Not a regulatory instrument – it is a voluntary corporate citizenship initiative • A network-driven = governments, companies, civil societies and the UN • Facilitation & engagement procedures: • Policy dialogues, Learning, Local structures and Projects • 1890 companies signed up • ICFTU, UNI, ICEM, TUAC, IMF
Development ofPrivate Voluntary Initiatives (PVI) As response of global community to the growing power of MNEs • Alternative Trade Organizations • Social Labelling (SL) • Codes of Conduct (COC) • New Codes of Conduct (New COC) • Framework Agreements (FA) • Reporting Initiatives (GRI, SA8000, etc) • Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) 1970s 1990s
Code of Conduct…(old code) • Unilateral declaration, mainly for social appeal or marketing purpose • Code of conduct for business • consumer rights, product safety or environmental protection • ethical behaviour codes for employees • Code of conduct for international business • ILO MNE Declaration • OECD Guidelines for MNEs • attempt by UN to set a global code Note:These are not PVIs!
New Code of Conduct Four Major Characteristics • Purely private, voluntary initiative (PVI) • Response to the situation of poor labour standards created by the failure of national governments and of international community; • International application • Cross-cutting application to suppliers and subcontractors
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)
Number of New Codes • 246 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
Why New Codes are important for Trade Unions? New Codes are on “labour practice” Great potential and also danger Most companies adopt COC without involving trade unions So, they can be used as an excuse for having no union Truly applied, codes may establish ILSs as binding international framework for responsible corporate behaviour So, union’s involvement is vital
Framework Agreements “An agreement negotiated between an MNE and an international trade union organization (such as an ITS) 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 ITS to frame “principles” of industrial relations and good labour practices
Major Framework Agreements • IUF- Danone, Accor, Nestle, Del Monte, Chiquita, etc. • IFBWW- Ikea, Faber-Castell, Hochtief, Skanska, etc. • ICEM- Statoil, Freudenberg, Endesa, Eni, Lukoil, etc. • UNI- Telefonica, OTE, Carrefour, H&M, and ISS • IMF- Volkswagen, Daimler Chrysler, Bosch, Renault, etc.
Points for Analyses of F.A./COC • Substance (reference to core labor standards) • Negotiations with, and participation of, trade unions (and other social actors) • Coverage of responsibility (production chains) • Independent verification (monitoring/follow-up) • Complaint and appeals (dispute settlement) • Incentives (or sanctions)
Policy and Strategy for T.U. • Set 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 • Importance of International, Regional, and Sub-regional trade union network
Reporting Initiatives • Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) • SA8000 (by SAI) • Ethical Trade Initiatives (ETI) • Clean Cloth Campaigns (CCC) • Worker Empowerment Consortium (WEC)
Exercise: Case Study *Consider the following case and see what they (or trade unions) can do? In a newly set-up EPZ in a beautiful island country, called DREAMLAND, a Japanese electronic company ISHIBASHI has been continuously harassing leaders of employees who are trying to form a trade union at their factory.
The End… ACTRAV-Turin