Global Frameworks Unionism

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Peter Hall-Jones (

"Outsourcing, offshoring, flexibilisation and casualisation, combined with loss of union power and the deregulation of labour markets, has led to increased precariousness and agency work. This creates the "triangular trap". The author argues that our most important response so far is the global framework agreement (GFA). These are negotiated between transnational corporations and global union federations, often based on ILO core labour standards and conventions. Efforts in the '70s to create world company councils failed, as did attempts to introduce a social clause through the WTO in the '90s. A response to unilateral corporate codes of conduct and CSR policies, the first GFA was signed in 2000. There are 85 active GFAs today, although there is a widespread lack of implementation and local unions often remain disengaged. The author suggests some key content minima and calls for new transnational union networks to take ownership of GFAs. Building cooperation in this way could help us move towards a new global labour relations." (