2013 05 18 mu mmia italy negotiating in the future labour market pav eng


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Directive is to improve the right to information and to consultation of employees in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings.The arrangements for informing and consulting employees shall be defined and implemented in such a way as to ensure their effectiveness and to enable the undertaking or group of undertakings to take decisions effectively. Matters shall be considered to be transnational where they concern the Community-scale undertaking or Community-scale group of undertakings as a whole, or at least two undertakings or establishments of the undertaking or group situated in two different Member States.Direttva è intesa a migliorare il diritto all’informazione e alla consultazione dei lavoratori nelle imprese e nei gruppi di imprese di dimensioni comunitarie. Le modalità di informazione e consultazione dei lavoratori sono definite e attuate in modo da garantirne l’efficacia e consentire un processo decisionale efficace nell’impresa o nel gruppo di imprese. Sono considerate questioni transnazionali quelle riguardanti l’impresa di dimensioni comunitarie o il gruppo di imprese di dimensioni comunitarie nel loro complesso o almeno due imprese o stabilimenti dell’impresa o del gruppo ubicati in due Stati membri diversi. Directiva tiene por objeto la mejora del derecho de información y consulta a los trabajadores en las empresas y grupos de empresas de dimensión comunitaria.Las modalidades de información y consulta a los trabajadores se definirán y aplicarán de modo que se garantice su efectividad y se permita una toma de decisiones eficaz de la empresa o del grupo de empresas.Se considerarán transnacionales las cuestiones que afectan al conjunto de la empresa o grupo de empresas de dimensión comunitaria o al menos a dos empresas o establecimientos de la empresa o del grupo situados en dos Estados miembros diferentes. Das Ziel dieser Richtlinie ist die Stärkung des Rechts auf Unterrichtung und Anhörung der Arbeitnehmer in gemeinschaftsweit operierenden Unternehmen und Unternehmensgruppen.Die Modalitäten der Unterrichtung und Anhörung der Arbeitnehmer werden so festgelegt und angewandt, dass ihre Wirksamkeit gewährleistet ist und eine effiziente Beschlussfassung des Unternehmens oder der Unternehmensgruppe ermöglicht wird. directive a pour objectif d’améliorer le droit à l’information et à la consultation des travailleurs dans les entreprises de dimension communautaire et les groupes d’entreprises de dimension communautaire. Les modalités d’information et de consultation des travailleurs sont définies et mises en œuvre de manière à en assurer l’effet utile et à permettre une prise de décision efficace de l’entreprise ou du groupe d’entreprises. Sont considérées comme transnationales les questions qui concernent l’ensemble de l’entreprise de dimension communautaire ou du groupe d’entreprises de dimension communautaire, ou au moins deux entreprises situés dans deux États membres différents.

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2013 05 18 mu mmia italy negotiating in the future labour market pav eng

  1. 1. MuMMIA ConferenceFlorence, Italy, May 2013Pav Akhtar, UNI Global UnionIncluding Professionals and Managers toNegotiate in the Future Labour Market1 BackgroundIn 2010 UNI committed to breaking through for union growth. It committed toorganise and build power for workers, within their industries, in their place ofemployment and across society. It committed to organise to secure jobs with justice.UNI has transformed itself to fulfil the commitment to “Breaking Through” throughemphasis on union growth in all of activities. The regions and sectors have workedtogether to support organising in dozens of campaigns. All sectors have focused onkey multinationals in order to secure organising rights for workers around the globe,whatever the national practice may be. Led by the SCORE department, UNI hasprovided resources and capacity support, including training, to grow unions and wincollective bargaining rights.The strategy of “Breaking Through” was adopted in the face of the diminishingstrength and shrinking political voice of unions and a smaller share for workers in theglobal economic pie. Between 1980 and 2010, coverage by collective bargainingagreements declined in 17 of 24 countries in the OECD. Even where workers arealready covered by collective agreements, union membership has declined overrecent decades in the face of cultural and employer shifts.Since Nagasaki, the assault on workers and unions has only worsened. It remainsdifficult to achieve collective bargaining relationships where they do not already exist.Workers fear retaliation for union support and lack confidence in union representationtranslating into improved working conditions. A growing number of governments areturning away from unions, especially in the private sector, as they consider them tobe an impediment or irrelevant to economic growth. Outside of Europe, theenforcement of labour laws typically ranges from lax to non-existent.The need to continue a focus on building union strength has become even moreimportant as the only viable counterweight to the corporate agenda of diminishingworker rights, an expanding precarious workforce and lower real wages for many.UNI Global Union’s role – and potential role – as a source of support for organisingcontinues to grow as the global economy becomes more tightly bound. With itsregions, sectors and SCORE working together, UNI provides critical resources andcapacity support for campaigns.For example, UNI negotiated global agreements help to reduce the fear at theworksites and hold local managers in check.UNI brings unions together to share their experiences and spread best practices.UNI will continue to develop this work on the current path, supported by a strategicplan for every sector, region and inter-professional group.
  2. 2. However, it is important when adopting a strategy for the future to take stock of ourexperiences and consider how we might more effectively meet the challenges andopportunities which lie ahead. For example:• Global agreements are no longer a matter of good will and a strongrelationship with the home unions. The ‘persuasion’ needed to seal a deal hasincreasingly become ‘pressure’ from a range of sources. We should expandour capacity for ‘smart leverage’.• Organising campaigns that are small or isolated are often insufficient toinspire workers that collective strength will improve their lives. Campaignsmust be properly resourced and planned, and they must be based on astrategy to win changes.• Changes at the national level often produce the opening or motivation forworkers to organise in large numbers. UNI has to be flexible enough to seizethese opportunities when they arise and give appropriate support.In summary, UNI has taken important steps towards meeting the challenge ofgrowing unions in our global economy. Building on these experiences, we know thatwe can do more if we deepen our capacity at UNI, embrace bold (and smart)strategies and aim high.2 UNI campaigns – Some reflectionsIn order to realise the commitment to help build strong unions in our industries, everyregion and sector is involved in support for specific organising campaigns and makesefforts to achieve global agreements to open space for organising. We’re still in theearly stages of developing this organising programme but can nevertheless reportsome successes, failures and observations.The ‘Organising Initiatives’ report details the specific progress but some commonthemes emerge. UNI’s challenge is to influence these factors which are keyingredients for success:1) A willing union with resources and capacity to organise;2) Workers motivated by an issue or problem,3) Low hostility from the employer and absence of fear at the workplace and4) A legal scene which supports collective bargaining and stable labour relationsUNI’s work has focused to improve the atmosphere for organising through globalagreements with multinationals in order to reduce fear at the work place, andsupplement the capacity development and resources of willing unions.UNI aims for single organising campaigns involving multinationals in UNI sectors toserve as a catalyst for others organising in that sector or union.In a context of countries with high collective bargaining coverage, UNI has focusedon sharing best practices among affiliates in order to amplify the experiences ofthose national unions which have shifted resources to an active organising /recruitment program and to promote organising as a priority.Worksite Organising – What works?UNI has supported campaigns to create unions in more than 50 countries since2010. We have found that UNI’s contribution is more likely to be successful when we
  3. 3. are campaigning in the context of other changes within the country that have thepotential to create space for unions to grow.ColombiaFor example, in Colombia, UNI was able to organise a national union for theCarrefour employees shortly after the free trade agreement was signed with the USand the government felt some pressure to demonstrate its commitment to allowingunions. This change, along side the global agreement with Carrefour, and theresources of the UNI Organising Fund, and staff and affiliate resources from UNIAmericas, made the breakthrough possible.Other unions are also now organising as part of the UNI work in Colombia.Similarly, the UNI Nepal Liaison Council has organised across several industries,building on the movement for change following the democratization of the country.MalaysiaAnother factor leading to success is existence of multiple campaigns at one time, tocreate a sense of momentum and the synergies needed to support the developmentof capacity.For example, in Malaysia the Malaysian Liaison Council is leading UNI supportedcampaigns in a number of industries, enabling it to build its own organising capacityand shift resources from one campaign to another.Common ProblemsSome common problems have emerged. Campaigns must include a strategy to winworksite improvements. Organizing without the likelihood of a collective bargainingagreement or a victory on an issue is often impossible. Strength across an entiresector is often the key to raising standards and must be considered part of a longterm aim.Too often the reluctance to hire organisers or lead organisers means the campaign isnot sufficiently resourced to build momentum or overcome obstacles. This isespecially important in those countries where a support from the majority is required.Finally, it is also not always possible to find a willing union to lead this work. Someunions are not interested in building membership outside an existing political unit, forfear of disrupting the status quo, and in other cases unions are limited by registrationto a single enterprise and unable to expand. In these cases, UNI has supported thecreation of a new union structure.In conclusion, it should come as no surprise that UNI’s campaigns are more likely tosucceed when they are bigger, part of a sectoral strategy, and closely connected todevelopments on the national level which support the growth of unions.Global agreements – What does it take?Our experience with global agreements continues to evolve. Companies increasinglyexpress a preference for a ‘relationship’ with UNI without written agreements.Some employers’ organisations and their legal advisors caution that a globalagreement signifies more than ‘respect for national law’ and means a realcommitment to freedom of association. Their advice is to sign only when the
  4. 4. company is absolutely convinced that this adds value to the business. As a result,UNI has signed fewer agreements in the past two years than anticipated.Nevertheless, these agreements have been meaningful and we increasingly put all ofour agreements to the test on organising. In some cases, for example, Securitas andCarrefour, we have focused on renegotiating our global agreements to reflect currentexpectations.In order to continue to persuade employers to sign agreements, we must beprepared to move quickly when there is opportunity, such as a change in leadership,public criticism of some sort, expansion in a new market, a friendly government, andwe must be prepared to campaign over a long period of time using a variety ofcampaign strategies.When employers see that UNI is prepared to make this sort of commitment, they aremore likely to reach an agreement.We should also continue to build the argument that a global agreement with UNIdiminishes the risk that a company faces for damage to its reputation because of badlocal practices. In order to give credibility to this argument, we must ensure that UNIhas its ears to the ground and is able to track (and resolve) problems across all of acompany’s operations.3 The FutureThe questions we must ask are: Are these the right areas of focus? What changeswill make it more likely that a union supported organising can be a catalyst? How canwe move UNI organising from small campaigns that affect hundreds of workers to alevel which serves as a catalyst for thousands more workers to come into unions?How can we do a better job of organising on the basis of a global agreement?In the future period, UNI should:Continue aligning UNI sectors, groups and regions on organising goals andplans, coordinated by UNI SCORE. It’s not possible to win without all of UNIworking together. The coordination between regions and sectors is critical for us tobe ‘joined up’ in the eyes of our employers, and to make best use of our resources.Continue to encourage affiliates to contribute to the UNI Organising Fund. TheFund has been a successful effort to build resources dedicated to organising.Continue to establish priorities and goals through strategic planning at alllevels. UNI has learned that planning and accountability is essential to avoid hit ormiss tactics which don’t leave a lasting result.Aim for several well resourced campaigns across an entire industry or sector.For example, could it be possible to consider a campaign across the entire call centreindustry of the Philippines or all retail workers in Colombia? We must think big if weare going to reverse global union decline.Develop our capacity to engage in training and assist in the development andimplementation of campaign plans. Both at the UNI global and regional level, UNIis building organising capacity through development of existing staff and recruitment
  5. 5. of new staff with organising skills. In order for our organising program to succeed,this must be a high priority. UNI should develop its own training capacity.Seize opportunities when political or legal changes emerge to encourage uniongrowth. For example, labour law recently changed in Turkey so unions must quicklybuild their membership across sectors for them to retain the status of representative.UNI can provide critical resources and capacity support to our affiliates on a biggerscale than we had previously foreseen.In India, Foreign Direct Investment has been approved by the government to allowlarge retailers to enter the country. UNI is using this to seek legal changes to supportsectoral organising and will eventually allocate resources to achieve a breakthroughin what is currently a non-union sector.Through the Council of Global Unions and ITUC, alongside the ILO, supportpolitical or legal change in countries which support the realisation of freedomof association. If UNI is able to support organising in countries which are also thefocus of ITUC and other GUF work (for example Myanmar, Turkey or Mexico) wecan, together, create a winning environment.Build links with other civil society organisations to stress on them theimportance of unions as part of economic stability and justice. Unions risk beingseen as irrelevant and unnecessary even with organisations that have traditionallybeen considered our allies. UNI should continue its role as a global voice in this area,especially with those organisations working in the field of ‘corporate accountability’.Explicitly allocate enough resources to win campaigns for global agreements.Sectors should continue to adopt “Must Win” targets. Often these campaigns taketime away from other sectoral work and this should be taken into account. Wherenecessary, resources from SCORE should be given to assist sectors in this area.Develop UNI’s capacity for smart leverage. UNI has begun work with sociallyresponsible investors and should continue (and expand) this area of activity in orderto be able to engage in effective capital strategies.