CESME – More than 80 trade union leaders from Turkey, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mauritius and Morocco met in Turkey recently to examine how global framework agreements (GFA) can be better used to boost collective bargaining agreements and social dialogue. Delegates discussed how GFAs and social dialogue could be used to promote the new ILO Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 on Violence and Harassment in the garment sector. Gender-based violence is a major issue in the garment industry, with many garment workers being young women who are not aware of their rights. Global fashion brands, Asos, Esprit, H&M, Inditex and Tchibo, which have signed GFAs with IndustriALL Global Union, also joined the meeting
The meeting concluded that it was urgent for trade unions and brands to promote the ratification of the new ILO Convention. It was argued that unions should also push to review existing collective agreements and GFAs, to ensure they are in line with the Convention 190.
Unions also used the meeting to exchange experiences on the best ways to monitor GFAs, and there was strong support for production country trade unions to play a greater role.
Christina Hajagos-Clausen, IndustriALL director for the textile and garment industry, said:“The increase of unionisation rate in GFA supplier factories is key to enable trade unions to monitor the agreements and to ensure that workers’ rights are respected in the global garment supply chain.”
The meeting is part of IndustriALL Global Union’s programme on GFA implementation, which is supported with the assistance of the DGB Bildungswerk. Since the beginning of the work, trade unions in Turkey and Bangladesh have organised over 50 new GFA supplier factories.
Global framework agreements are negotiated at a global level between trade unions and a multinational company. They put in place the best standards of trade union rights, health, safety and environmental practices, and quality of work principles across a company’s global operations, regardless of whether those standards exist in an individual country.