The ILO and the workers of the Global Supply Chains

Report
The ILO
and the workers of
the Global Supply Chains
Luc Cortebeeck
Vice-president Governing Body ILO and President
Workers’Group
ACV-CSC TRANSCOM BELGIUM
ITF CONGRESS SOFIA, 14 AUGUST 2014
1. The ILO, what it is?
1. ILO: the INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION




Promotes RIGHTS AT WORK;
Encourages DECENT WORK, DECENT EMPLOYMENT;
Enhance SOCIAL PROTECTION;
Strengthen SOCIAL DIALOGUE;
The only international UN-organisation supporting
Workers and Workers’ rights
1. The ILO, what it is?
2. ILO: A VERY SPECIAL ORGANISATION:
 The only UN-organisation with three parties, deciding
together:
 Governments;
 Workers;
 Employers
 ILO is a tripartite organisation;
 Super: the workers have a decision power at world
level;
 But not easy: we have to decide with employers and
governments
1. The ILO, what it is?
3. ILO: WHERE IT COMES FROM?
 2014: Remembering the First World War;
 1919: End of First World War with Treaty of Versailles:
“…universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if
it is based on social justice”;
 ILO is founded as tripartite organisation, based in Geneva;
 1946: Declaration of Philadelphia: “Work is not a
commodity”.
http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/history/lang-en/index.htm
2. The ILO, how it works?
 189 Conventions about Workers’ Rights have been
adopted by the International Labour Conference by
vote;
 Conventions are international treaties, if ratified, they
are legally binding;
 If not ratified, they are a source of inspiration of the
national law
 202 Recommendations have been adopted
(not legally binding).
ILO/OIT
Conseil d’Administration
Governing Body
International Labour Conference
Conférence Internationale du
Travail
ILO/OIT GENEVE / GENEVA
The Workers’ Group of the ILO
Groupe Travailleur OIT
ILO/OIT
discussion with M. Funes de Rioja (empl. pres)
and
Guy Ryder (DG)
2. The ILO, how it works?
ILO SUPERVISORY SYSTEM
 Commission of experts comments every year the
application of standards in every country;
 Every year the Tripartite Committee of Application of
Standards of the International Labour Conference
discusses 25 difficult cases;
 3 times a year the Commission of Freedom of
Association discusses cases;
 The Governing Body discusses the most difficult
situations and complaints.
2. The ILO, how it works?
GUATEMALA
TRIPARTITE HIGH LEVEL
MISSION Guatemala
September 2013
3. The ILO:
strengths and weaknesses
Strengths:
 The only international institution with a decision
power for the workers;
 Impossible in these times wherein the neo-liberalism
prevails, to create an institution with the same rights
for workers;
 189 Conventions and 202 Recommendations: the only
international legislation in favor of workers; objectives:
decent work and social protection.
 The most important ‘tool’ for ITUC, ITF and other
Global Unions
3. The ILO,
strengths and weaknesses
Weaknesses:
 We are not alone, we have to negotiate with
employers and governments;
 Actual dispute about the right to strike;
 Dealing with national legislations, not
with enterprises directly.
4. From ‘Multinational Enterprises’
to
‘Global Supply Chains’
 1960: MNE’s;
 1970-1980:
 From production-driven commodity chains…:
production of labour intensive commodities in lowwage areas.
 to buyer-driven chains. Production of consumer goods
(for example ) driven by Fashion-brands.
 From regional production-sharing to global chains
(enormous growth in East-Asia).
 Washington consensus: Reagan and Thatcher
followed by IMF, trade without limitations by social or
fiscal laws.
4. From ‘Multinational Enterprises’
to
‘Global Supply Chains’
 1990-2000: exponential growth of Global Supply
Chains (Global Value Chains):
 From manufacturing
 to energy, food,
 to services (transport, call centers, accountancy,
medical procedures, research and development (from
world leading companies)
 From suppliers in ownership to service-suppliers
with different degrees of (in)dependency between
the companies.
 With or without intermediation of servicecompanies (question of social responsibility)
4. From ‘Multinational Enterprises’
to
‘Global Supply Chains’
 2008… global crisis





China as ‘factory of the world’;
India as ‘back-office’;
Brazil: agricultural commodities;
Russia: natural resources and military technology;
Because of lack of demand by old industrial world these
countries are turning to their domestic markets.
 Some suppliers are becoming the new masters
(Volvo owned by Geely, Chinese supplier company)
4. From ‘Multinational Enterprises’
to
‘Global Supply Chains’
Conclusion:
 The economic globalisation of the 21e Century is made by
the Global Supply Chains and Global Value Chains;
 MNE’s and GSC, GVC decide about working conditions of a
mass of workers in the industrialised, the emerging and
the developing economies;
 The governance of Global Value Chains is complex (NIKE:
+ 800 suppliers in 51 countries with +600000 workers,
NIKE has -25000 direct employed workers);
 They are operating with suppliers of the formal and the
informal economy;
 To deal with this complex problem we need to be
prepared, we have to know the complexity.
5. What the ILO did already?
1. The MNE-declaration (2006):
 Governments: ratify and apply the standards; no
limitation of workers’ rights to attract MNE’s;
 MNE’s: are asked to obey national laws and
international standards; fundamental rights at work;
consultations with government and social partners;
increase employment opportunities; provide wages and
working conditions as do comparable employers;
respect minimum wages, high standards safety and
health; freedom of association and collective
bargaining.
 P.M. OECD Guidelines (national contact points)
5. What the ILO did already?
2. ILO engagement with private sector (March
2014)
 Enterprise-management and Enterprise-workers
delegates contact ILO to ask for guidance. GB worked
out a system, controlled by the workers’ and the
employers’ group to give rapid, clear and practical
responses.
 Accord (legally binding) on Fire and Building Safety
in Bangladesh. After Rana Plaza disaster, between
Brands and Global Unions in and with support ILO.
5. What the ILO did already?
3. Reinforced Convention on Forced Labour
(C29)(June 2014)
 To eradicate human trafficking; abuses and
fraudulent practices during recruitment and
placement process (21 million victims:
mostly migrants, informal sector, supply
chains);
5. What the ILO did already?
4. Transition Informal to Formal Economy
 Important for the Global Supply Chains;
June 2014, first discussion,
2015: ILO-Recommendation.
5. International Maritime Convention
(2006)
 The only detailed sectorial ILO-convention.
6. Conference 2016:
Global Supply Chains
 Discussion requested by the Workers’ Group;
 Very difficult with employers and some
governments to put it on agenda;
 General discussion: outcome not sure;
 Workers want an instrument (convention or
recommendation) but need to study the
complexity of the problem;
 ITUC wants to prepare this with Global Unions;
 We have to work on both: rules for enterprises
and member states.
7. CONCLUSIONS
 Recommendations and Conventions are
instruments, tools;
 They have to be applied in countries and
enterprises, but ILO cannot do it all;
 Work for ITF and national sectorial
unions:
 To negotiate International Framework
Agreements with enterprises and GSC;
 To negociate accords on Sectorial Level;
 To fight together with ITUC for minimum
wages, etc.
ITUC and ILO-Workers’ Group
fight for justice
Luc Cortebeeck Third ITUC Congress, Berlin, 19 May
2014
“I do not expect any of you to be naively optimistic. But I
think we may expect from any self-respecting trade
unionist that they keep believing in the capacity to turn
things around in a positive way, internationally as well.
Provided that we opt for the right strategy towards
employers and governments, and that we are able to
mobilize our own base on international issues. The ILO
plays a key part in this strategy. …
ITUC and ILO-Workers’ Group
fight for justice
I call upon each and every one of you to undertake a joint
effort to tackle the ILO’s future challenges … How do we get
more influence on multinationals? How do we – despite the
opposition of employers and governments alike – get an
instrument regarding the global supply chains?
The ILO clearly remains the most efficient tool to give
workers the rights, the decent work and the decent life they
deserve.”
Thank You

similar documents