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Analysis of UN framework on business & human rights & its application to global agreements between unions and multinationals by Jim Baker, Council of Global Unions

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Article
1 December 2011

[PDF] Regulating Labor Relations in Global Production Networks: Insights on International Framework Agreements

Author: Michael Fichter, Markus Helfen & Jörg Sydow, in Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft

In many countries, a decline in trade union "control" over the national environment – a measure of which has been the increase in outsourcing, offshoring, flexibilization, and casualization of work – has been one of the marks of economic globalization...[B]eyond ...individual instances, unions are also in the process of developing a potentially long-term strategy as a structural answer to the dilemma they face, namely, how to bring the power of unions as locally or nationally organized entities to bear on the transnational regulation gap with regard to labor relations. One important tool they have devised for this task is the International Framework Agreement (IFA)...IFAs represent a contractual relationship between TNCs and Global Union Federations (GUFs) which afford mutual recognition of the parties to the agreement...[refers to Lafarge, Daimler, Mercedes (part of Daimler), G4S, Chiquita, Telefonica, Securitas]

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Article
1 January 2011

[PDF] Global Agreements and Protect, Respect, Remedy

Author: Jim Baker, Council of Global Unions in International Centre for Trade Union Rights

Global Framework Agreements have expanded in number and have evolved considerably in recent decades. Too often, they have been examined in isolation from the larger picture of multinational enterprises…To understand the value as well as the limits of Global Agreements, it is useful to put them in broader perspective…The Protect, Respect, Remedy Framework developed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights John Ruggie is a very useful reference for global agreements. Unlike CSR industry hype, it does not overlook, but underlines, the role of the State. Global agreements are also relevant to the responsibilities of companies to respect international human rights standards, including labour standards and to exercise “due diligence” concerning their impact on human rights. And, they can help provide “remedy” [refers to ArcelorMital, GDF Suez, Danone, ISS]

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