PositionInternational Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions - Brief Article

Statoil, the Norwegian-based state multinational, and the 20 million-member International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) signed an agreement which guarantees not only labour rights, and health and safety rights, but also commits their employer to promoting human rights, and environmental and labour standards in their respective communities. The agreement follows guidelines set by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the Global Compact initiative which aims to ameliorate the harsh effects of globalisation and expand its benefits.A UN spokesman commented that social dialogue and partnership are ultimately the only viable response to the many challenges of globalisation. The ICEM-Statoil deal is part of increasing international social dialogue, including "framework" labour agreements, according to Jim Baker, Director of the Department of Multinational Enterprises Organising and Recruitment at the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICFTU). Such agreements allow unions to deal with multinational corporations at a global level on the basis of common principles, including fundamental workers' rights that are incorporated in core conventions of the International Labour Organisation."Just a few years ago, only a few corporations would have been willing to seriously discuss anything with unions at the international level", said Mr Baker. But among the international union organisations that have reached framework agreements with major...

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