MAC: Mines and Communities

IndustriALL commits to trade union networks and Global Framework Agreements

Published by MAC on 2012-10-23
Source: Statement (2012-10-17)

Trade unionists - including members of the world's largest mining unions - have committed themselves to "enforce minimum social standards in order to make globalisation more humane".

Uniting under the banner of the new IndustriALL federation, they place their faith in the negotiation of Global Framework Agreements between individual companies and their workforces.

These are aimed at "set[ting] out the standards for workers' rights and decent working conditions throughout the companies operations and its supply chains".

Despite the curious nod to "making globlisation more humane", IndustriALL clearly states that "trade union networks are cornerstone structure in confronting global capital".

IndustriALL committed to trade union networks and Global Framework Agreements

IndustriALL press release

17 October 2012

IndustriALL Global Union's commitment to building and establishing trade union networks and Global Framework Agreements (GFAs) was reaffirmed at the thematic conference on these issues held upon invitation of IG Metall on 17-18 October in Frankfurt, with over 120 participants from 30 countries, from all regions and all industrial sectors.

"Everywhere in the world people still work under appalling conditions and are persecuted and oppressed because they organize a union," said Berthold Huber, President of IndustriALL Global Union, new global union force founded in June 2012 when three international union bodies came together to represent 50 million workers in 140 countries across the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors.

"Our central task is to enforce minimum social standards in order to make globalization more humane. We are negotiating with companies on Global Framework Agreements so as to implement minimum conditions in all locations of the company and in their supply chains," said Huber.

For IndustriALL, trade union networks are genuine tools in building global union structures, linking trade unions within a company regardless of whether a global agreement exists. Trade union networks are cornerstone structures in confronting global capital. The conference in Frankfurt is discussing the important functions of trade unions in the monitoring and proper implementation of global framework agreements.

Global Framework Agreements are negotiated at a global level between trade unions and multinational companies and set out the standards for workers' rights and decent working conditions throughout the companies operations and its supply chains.

These global agreements are one of the leading strategies used by trade unions to establish mechanisms of regular social dialogue at global or regional level to enable constructive industrial relations leading to global level negotiations.

"IndustriALL's role as a global union must be to rebalance the distribution of power in the global economy, away from multinational corporations and towards nations, communities and people," said Raina.

The unique feature of GFA's is the ongoing relationship with labour and the possibility for the workers themselves in the companies, through their trade union organizations, to monitor and ensure rights are respected and conditions are improved.

"GFAs remain one of the best ways to secure workers' rights and improve conditions in multinational companies in our globalized economy," said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.

"Global agreements can also help us to establish new trade unions and build the strength of working people throughout the world," said Raina. "And we will continue to support GFA's through the building of global trade union networks in global companies to negotiate, monitor compliance and improve conditions," said Raina.

"Global capital is an immense force, its power must be tempered by the power of people acting together," said Raina.

Media Contacts

Tom Grinter, Communications Officer, +41 22 304 1853 or +41 79 693 44 99

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Notes to editors

Global Framework Agreements are negotiated on a global level between trade unions and a multinational company. They put in place the very best standards of trade union rights, health, safety and environmental practices, and quality of work principles across a company's global operations, regardless of whether those standards exist in an individual country.

IndustriALL and its three founding organizations have signed Global Agreements with the following multinational companies: Aker, AngloGold, BMW, Bosch, Brunel, Daimler, EADS, EDF, Electrolux, Endesa, Eni, Evonik, Ford, Freudenberg, GDF Suez, GEA, Indesit, Inditex, Lafarge, Leoni, Lukoil, MAN, Mizuno, Norsk Hydro, Norske Skog, Petrobras, Prym, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Rheinmetall, Rhodia, Röchling, Saab, SCA, Siemens, SKF, Statoil, Umicore, Vallourec, and, Volkswagen.

IndustriALL Global Union represents workers in a wide range of sectors from extraction of oil and gas, mining, generation and distribution of electric power, to manufacturing of metals and metal products, shipbuilding, automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, electronics, chemicals, rubber, pulp and paper, building materials, textiles, garments, leather and footwear and environmental services. IndustriALL Global Union was founded in Copenhagen on 19 June 2012. The new organization brings together affiliates of the former global union federations: International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF), International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) and International Textiles Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF).

For more go to: www.industriall-union.org

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