International Framework Agreements

IFAs have a global scope and are signed by GUFs. The main objective of the IFA is to ensure that international labour standards are met at all sites of the target company. (On the other hand, the European Framework Agreements (EDF) have a regional (European) scope. The ILO notes that the number of IFAs signed from year to year between 2000 and 2016 has increased and that 115 agreements were concluded in 2016. The European Commission has set up a database of transnational enterprise agreements, with IFA and EDF indicating that 10 additional IFAs have been concluded in 2017 and 8 in 2018. The IFA generally focuses on the metallurgical, construction, chemical, food and service sectors, and it is generally accepted that such negotiations are initiated by trade unions. Dominique Michel: As a recent development in the field of industrial relations, international framework agreements are an interesting topic for the ILO. The ILO Director-General attended the signing of some of them, such as Chiquita. Several ILO departments (social dialogue sector, Institute of Labour Studies, employers` and workers` business offices and the programme of multinational enterprises) monitor and analyse these developments. The ILO`s tripartite declaration on multinational enterprises and social policy is a useful reference point for companies considering the content of these agreements. This statement contains recommendations on the desirable behaviour of companies in terms of employment, equal opportunities and treatment, qualifications, working conditions, occupational health and safety and labour relations.

To be effective, it is important to make arrangements for the implementation of an IFA and its effective follow-up. The European Trade Union Confederation and BusinessEurope recognise that stakeholders may find it difficult to take responsibility for the agreement at the local level. They identify three areas of innovation and experimentation related to the implementation of transnational enterprise agreements: Dominique Michel: the content of these agreements varies according to the different requirements and characteristics of the companies and trade unions concerned and according to the traditions of working relations between the parties. They cover all four fundamental principles and workplace rights and refer specifically to the ILO`s core conventions. The other provisions, which differ from one agreement to another, deal with various topics covered by ILO standards, such as the protection of workers` representatives, wages, occupational health and safety and qualification. Codes of Conduct Collective bargaining; Corporate social responsibility Decent work European collective agreements; European framework agreement; Labour standards Social dialogue transnational enterprise agreement.