Multinationals and trade union work


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Multinationals and trade union work

  1. 1. Enfrentando el poder de las transnacionales <ul><li>Union initiatives to monitor responsible production and promote decent work in transnational companies </li></ul>
  2. 2. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Trade union freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom of negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Free choice of membership </li></ul><ul><li>Works Councils </li></ul>
  3. 3. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>Structure (1) </li></ul><ul><li>Trade Union Confederations in the Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>FNV (1,4 million members) </li></ul><ul><li>CNV </li></ul><ul><li>MHP </li></ul>
  4. 4. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>Structure (2) </li></ul><ul><li>FNV Unions </li></ul><ul><li>FNV Bondgenoten </li></ul><ul><li>ABVAKABO </li></ul><ul><li>FNV Bouw </li></ul><ul><li>AOB </li></ul><ul><li>FNV KIEM </li></ul><ul><li>FNV Horecabond </li></ul><ul><li>AFMP </li></ul><ul><li>NPB </li></ul><ul><li>FNV Mooi </li></ul><ul><li>NVJ </li></ul><ul><li>FWZ </li></ul><ul><li>FNV Sport </li></ul><ul><li>FNV Zelfstandigen </li></ul>
  5. 5. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>Structure (3) </li></ul><ul><li>Trade union confederation Trade unions </li></ul><ul><li>Structural dialogue on main social economic developments and issues </li></ul><ul><li>Employers’ organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul>
  6. 6. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>Structure (4) </li></ul><ul><li>Trade union (FNV Bondgenoten) </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation collective bargaining agreements (applicable to all employees and can be defined generally binding by sector) </li></ul><ul><li>Companies </li></ul>
  7. 7. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>Structure (5) </li></ul><ul><li>Trade union (FNV Bondgenoten) </li></ul><ul><li>Representation and support </li></ul><ul><li>Union members </li></ul>
  8. 8. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>FNV Bondgenoten operates in: </li></ul><ul><li>Trade sector </li></ul><ul><li>Services sector </li></ul><ul><li>Transport industry </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial sector (Heineken) </li></ul><ul><li>Metal & Engineering/Metal & Electrical Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural sector </li></ul><ul><li>And is active for benefits claimants and retired workers </li></ul>Structure (6)
  9. 9. Trade unions in the Netherlands <ul><li>In the Netherlands, we do not have trade unions linked to a single company or even a single plant </li></ul><ul><li>Dutch legislation requires the establishing of works councils by which -to a degree- workers can participate in the governance of operating companies and individual plants </li></ul>Structure (7)
  10. 10. Global union federations <ul><li>Education International </li></ul><ul><li>International Federation of Building and Wood Workers </li></ul><ul><li>International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Union </li></ul><ul><li>International Federation of Journalists </li></ul><ul><li>International Metalworkers' Federation </li></ul><ul><li>International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation </li></ul><ul><li>International Transport Workers' Federation </li></ul><ul><li>International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association </li></ul><ul><li>Public Services International </li></ul><ul><li>Union Network International </li></ul><ul><li>Often, unions with members in several industries are affiliated to more than one GUF. </li></ul>
  11. 11. International trade union work <ul><li>In response to violation of workers’ (human) rights </li></ul><ul><li>In response to globalisation </li></ul><ul><li>In response to casualisation </li></ul>
  12. 12. Context International trade union solidarity FNV Bondgenoten <ul><li>International trade union activities are part of normal trade union work </li></ul><ul><li>Dutch unions support unions world-wide (solidarity) </li></ul><ul><li>(Dutch) multinational companies are active in many countries </li></ul><ul><li>Decision making within multinationals is not necessarily done in the Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>As trade union we fight the ‘race to the bottom’, casualisation </li></ul><ul><li>In order to promote the globalisation of workers’ rights, unions need to ‘globalise’ too </li></ul>
  13. 13. Main goal globalisation of workers’ rights Method: Researching labour standards within multinationals and their supply chains Setting up international trade union networks in Dutch multinationals
  14. 14. c Ahold AkzoNobel Heineken ING Philips Unilever
  15. 15. Research Context <ul><li>Globalisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic and social globalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internationalisation of production chains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Casualisation and transfer of labour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiplicity of companies (who can be addressed for what?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digitalisation and social networking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More information available (internet) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New possibilities for networking and information exchange (social media) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Transnational work: Challenges <ul><ul><li>Use multiplicity of companies to influence supply chain on more levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make agreements and influence decision making at international level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use (digital) network possibilities for exchange information, pin pointing developments and develop joint action/response (social media) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Trade union networks <ul><li>Successful trade union initiatives are based on the triangle of information, networking and action </li></ul>Action Agreements with Transnationals Networks Information
  18. 18. Social policy Implementation Strategy Practice Monitoring Chain Quality of policies? Are policies properly implemented? Is the company strategy in line with company policy? What does it look like in practice? How is monitoring handled? What is the scope of the policy? Influencing companies through research and networking
  19. 19. Research <ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Labour rights </li></ul><ul><li>Union-company relations </li></ul><ul><li>Working conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourcing, off shoring </li></ul><ul><li>Supply chain </li></ul><ul><li>How </li></ul><ul><li>Local research organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Information gathered both from companies and unions </li></ul><ul><li>Results are used to initiate social dialogue between companies and unions </li></ul>
  20. 20. Why are networks a good strategy? <ul><li>Multinationals themselves are organized into networks including vendors, supply chains, distribution channels, technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Why not use the same strategy in response to union organizing networks of workers within multinationals? </li></ul><ul><li>The union networks facilitate the exchange of information, extending the power of negotiating of workers and their representatives and, consequently, help to improve working relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Working in networks can create an international force to oppose the power of multinationals. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Research findings <ul><li>Social policies scattered and diverse </li></ul><ul><li>Little or no contact with unions </li></ul><ul><li>Little contact between unions within one country </li></ul><ul><li>Role of suppliers increasingly important but not enough monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing use of temporary contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Increased outsourcing and off shoring </li></ul><ul><li>No child or forced labour </li></ul><ul><li>Companies do have world-wide codes of conduct </li></ul>
  22. 22. Network results <ul><li>AkzoNobel: we now have close contact with ICEM (GUF) and the international union network is growing </li></ul><ul><li>Unilever: our networking and research helped in achieving international social dialogue with the company </li></ul><ul><li>ING: research in Romania was done with ING and is getting follow up </li></ul><ul><li>Philips: with IMF and international union network is being set up </li></ul><ul><li>Heineken: contact with Russia is difficult, now focussing on Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>General: multinationals have been put under pressure with respect to trade unions rights and specifically, protection contracts in Mexico </li></ul>
  23. 23. Trade union work within Heineken <ul><li>We are a national union, not a trade union linked to a single company or even a single plant </li></ul><ul><li>Dutch legislation requires the establishing of works councils by which -to a degree- workers can participate in the governance of operating companies and individual plants </li></ul>
  24. 24. Trade union work within Heineken <ul><li>FNV Bondgenoten is not the only trade union in Heineken, but by far the strongest. </li></ul><ul><li>In part of our activities we must and will consider other unions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Terms of employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular consultations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other activities do not require any great measure of cooperation with other unions and allow us the most to express our own points of view </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relations to works councils </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Trade union work within Heineken <ul><li>Collective labour agreement (2 CLAs, HNB and HG) </li></ul><ul><li>Pensions </li></ul><ul><li>Social Plan (what to do in case of redundancies) </li></ul><ul><li>Technical work groups may work on more difficult issues in between consecutive agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Collective labour agreements stipulate that Heineken facilitates (and partly funds) trade union activities </li></ul>
  26. 26. Trade union work within Heineken <ul><li>Regular consultations </li></ul><ul><li>On a regular basis (two or more meetings a year) national and local management invites trade unions’ representatives to inform them on current developments </li></ul><ul><li>These meetings have a social side: it is simply important to keep in contact. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Trade union work within Heineken <ul><li>Individual services </li></ul><ul><li>Individual services is the part of our activities where they have most impact on members and where we are most tangibly present </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals ask questions on terms of employment, on their rights and duties &c and want them to be answered by someone whom they trust to be knowledgeable and on their side </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts with superiors sometimes come up. We give advice and if necessary accompany members (and even non-members) in talks with superiors </li></ul><ul><li>We can fall back on the union’s legal service for advice and legal action </li></ul>
  28. 28. Trade union work within Heineken <ul><li>Relations to Works Councils </li></ul><ul><li>Works councils and trade unions have different roles and competences. In cases councils and unions might even compete. Managers know this and make use of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Members of FNV Bondgenoten can be and are elected to the works councils </li></ul><ul><li>Close cooperation and coordination is required </li></ul>
  29. 29. Trade union work within Heineken <ul><li>International trade union work at Heineken </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliated to the IUF (UITA) </li></ul><ul><li>Started networking with Russia, now at stand still </li></ul><ul><li>Research done by CILAS into protection contracts and trade union relations in Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>This week first contacts with trade unions in Mexico and with Heineken </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Coca Cola worker alliance (IUF) </li></ul><ul><li>Unilever campaign (IUF) </li></ul><ul><li>Nestle watch (IUF) </li></ul><ul><li>CAL campaign (ICEM) </li></ul><ul><li>World day for decent work (ITUC) </li></ul>Other trade union initiatives