The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Trade Union Use 2000-2008   Turin 8-9 December 2008 Trade Union Advisory...
What are the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises? <ul><li>Recommendations by governments to MNEs operating in or...
What are the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises? <ul><li>Not legally binding, but not optional either </li></ul...
Major Revision in 2000 <ul><li>What improvements?   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to supply chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
ALSO <ul><li>From the Review (‘98-’00): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New chapters on bribery and consumer interests </li></ul></u...
Increased visibility   <ul><li>OECD Guidelines for MNEs adopted by 11 non-OECD countries:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Argentina...
Cases  <ul><li>More than 90 cases raised by TU since 2001: </li></ul>
Cases  <ul><li>Number of submissions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On average: 13 cases yearly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Importan...
But frustrations with NCPs  <ul><li>Upward trend in the annual number of pending cases </li></ul><ul><li>Average length in...
Cases  <ul><li>Types of leading breaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-union behaviour </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><...
Cases  <ul><li>Types of leading breaches / Region: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-union behaviour: most frequent in Asia </li>...
Cases  <ul><li>NCPs that received ≥ 3 TU-cases </li></ul>
Cases  <ul><li>Of all closed cases (53): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In half of the cases (28) we have at least some positive ou...
Implementation mechanism  NCP  Performance <ul><li>Influenced by the structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only governmental de...
Implementation mechanism  Performance <ul><li>Depends on NCP political will and resources available </li></ul><ul><li>Depe...
Implementation mechanism  Performance <ul><li>What obstacles do we observe to an effective implementation? </li></ul><ul><...
Conclusions 1 <ul><li>Net benefit is more likely:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in case of tripartite and quadripartite NCPs </li...
Conclusions 2 <ul><li>TU strategy when submitting a case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To resolve a concrete problem at plant leve...
Conclusions 3 <ul><li>OECD guidelines for MNE:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Far from perfect” but still useful – needs to be c...
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The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

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Turin 8-9 December 2008

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The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

  1. 1. The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Trade Union Use 2000-2008 Turin 8-9 December 2008 Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD
  2. 2. What are the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises? <ul><li>Recommendations by governments to MNEs operating in or from the following countries: </li></ul><ul><li>the 30 OECD countries, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, Romania and Slovenia </li></ul><ul><li>Apply to corporate activities worldwide </li></ul>
  3. 3. What are the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises? <ul><li>Not legally binding, but not optional either </li></ul><ul><li>Governments are legally obliged to set up National Contact Points (NCPs) to deal with specific problems regarding the Guidelines in individual MNEs </li></ul>
  4. 4. Major Revision in 2000 <ul><li>What improvements? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to supply chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stronger language on workers’ rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implicit inclusion of ILO Core Labour Standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide facilities to employee representatives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure occupational health and safety in their operations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employ local personnel and provide training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What procedure to follow in case of plant restructuring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No threats allowed when workers want to exercise their right to organize </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. ALSO <ul><li>From the Review (‘98-’00): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New chapters on bribery and consumer interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforced chapter on environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced implementation procedure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Governments: legally obliged to set up NCPs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But since 2000 specified expectations on how they should act </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Increased visibility <ul><li>OECD Guidelines for MNEs adopted by 11 non-OECD countries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, Rumania and Slovenia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different international institutions/forums refer to the OECD Guidelines for MNE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums organized by TUAC,OECD & ILO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>G8 (Heiligendamm Summit in 2007 follow up with G5) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UN –Ruggie report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2008 OECD multi-stakeholder meeting on China </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Cases <ul><li>More than 90 cases raised by TU since 2001: </li></ul>
  8. 8. Cases <ul><li>Number of submissions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On average: 13 cases yearly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important increase in breaches in non-adhering countries in 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seems to have continued in 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rise in cases submitted by Global Union Federations </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. But frustrations with NCPs <ul><li>Upward trend in the annual number of pending cases </li></ul><ul><li>Average length in months remains above 15 months </li></ul>
  10. 10. Cases <ul><li>Types of leading breaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-union behaviour </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No consultation on restructuring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No enforcement of contract </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Threat to relocate offshore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No information on financial performance of firm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Problems with occupational health & safety </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Various </li></ul></ul></ul>45% 19% 16% 2% 2% 1% 15%
  11. 11. Cases <ul><li>Types of leading breaches / Region: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-union behaviour: most frequent in Asia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-consultation if restructuring: most frequent in Europe </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Cases <ul><li>NCPs that received ≥ 3 TU-cases </li></ul>
  13. 13. Cases <ul><li>Of all closed cases (53): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In half of the cases (28) we have at least some positive outcome </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In 45%: Intermediation of NCP was useful </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In 45%: Pressure on the company (via different ways) without help of the NCP </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In 10%: court outcome in favour of TU which leaded to some positive outcome </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 61% of the closed cases, there is a public statement made by the NCP </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Implementation mechanism NCP Performance <ul><li>Influenced by the structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only governmental departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>27 NCP </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bipartite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 NCP: Romania </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What about the objectivity? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tripartite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>9 NCP: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Norway, Sweden </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quadripartite: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 NCP: Chile, Finland </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Implementation mechanism Performance <ul><li>Depends on NCP political will and resources available </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on Staff continuity </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on the interpretation of criteria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow interpretation or not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differing interpretations or not </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Depends on the willingness of employees and employers to reconcile </li></ul>
  16. 16. Implementation mechanism Performance <ul><li>What obstacles do we observe to an effective implementation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Location of NCP in Finance Ministry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too narrow and/or too differing interpretations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parallel legal proceeding as argument not to handle a case </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No proper functioning of some key NCPs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>US, Japan,Korea </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of visibility beyond (and within) the OECD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of co-ordination with other global fora e.g. ILO </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusions 1 <ul><li>Net benefit is more likely: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in case of tripartite and quadripartite NCPs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when NCP is not located in finance ministry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if MNE HQ is sensitive for reputational damage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if MNE HQ is alerted on local management practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if NCP case + targeted campaigning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ parallel legal proceeding </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusions 2 <ul><li>TU strategy when submitting a case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To resolve a concrete problem at plant level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To draw attention to the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on breaches of worker’s rights in different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>subsidiaries of the same MNE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be part of a campaign </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Conclusions 3 <ul><li>OECD guidelines for MNE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Far from perfect” but still useful – needs to be considered by Chinese worker organisations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if more political will  more effective tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Within the OECD </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need for more NCP capacity building </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Peer review process </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Link it to export credits guarantees </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More regional focus </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>G8 +G5 Heiligendamm Process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OECD/ILO Round Table </li></ul></ul></ul>

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