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IOE Staff Changes

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Invitation to the next Meeting of the IOE Policy Working Group on Industrial Relations (2 November 2017, Geneva)

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2017 IOE submission to the ILO Experts on the application of Convention 87

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Full Report of the IOE Forum on Diverse Forms of Work, Geneva, 14 June 2017 - Out now!

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IOE Contact

Ms. Alessandra Assenza

Senior Adviser
Direct line: +41 22 920 00 09

International Industrial Relations

Increasingly, trade unions are operating over borders with international involvement in national disputes. To date, there are numerous instances of such activities, including coordinated transnational boycotts.

Globalization has provided the trade union movement with a number of new strategies to attempt to broaden industrial relations at the international level. While there has been a move towards bargaining at the enterprise level, unions have sought to exert influence through initiatives at the supra-national and international levels, principally aimed at multinational enterprises, i.e. through International Framework Agreements (IFAs).

These agreements are in their infancy, with a great many unanswered questions. However, many companies that have signed IFAs principally see them as a vehicle for deepening dialogue, first and foremost, and not as an industrial relations exercise. The difficulty however is that International Trade Unions see them as the latter, which might explain the growing trend of including dispute resolution mechanisms in the text of IFAs.

It is too early to say definitively what the final destination is in this process, but some of the future issues that may emerge relate to sectoral approaches, attempts to alter existing agreements or perhaps even widening them to include reference to wages and conditions of work.

The IOE is available to provide guidance in relation to IFAs to Employers’ Organisations and their members. We can help you weigh the benefits against the risks or costs of engaging in such a process.


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