Dominique Michel: Most framework agreements include monitoring mechanisms involving the participation of trade unions. These mechanisms include specific actions by management and workers` representatives, such as the dissemination (and, if necessary, translation) of the enterprise-wide agreement, or the development of joint training programmes. Some agreements provide for joint missions by the relevant national union and the World Trade Union Association to monitor the implementation of the agreement on the ground. Most of them also have mechanisms for the World Confederation of Trade Unions to deal with a case if the company violates the terms of the agreement. ILO Online: How many companies have signed these contracts so far? ILO Online: How far do these agreements go? Can they set wages and working conditions anywhere in the world? Dominique Michel: The content of these agreements varies according to the different requirements and characteristics of the companies and trade unions concerned and according to the traditions of labour relations between the parties. They cover all four fundamental principles and workplace rights and refer specifically to the ILO`s core conventions. The other provisions, which differ from one agreement to another, deal with various topics covered by ILO standards, such as the protection of workers` representatives, wages, occupational health and safety and qualification. More recently, several agreements have been extended beyond the recognition of the ILO`s basic labour standards by ensuring decent wages and working conditions and a safe environment. An example is the agreement signed in 2018 by Carrefour and Uni Global Union, which builds on previous agreements to introduce new provisions to combat violence against women in the workplace.  Another example is the IFA, which closed bnp Paribas and UNI Global Union in October 2018 and was “the first in the financial sector to plan paid parental leave and the first with guaranteed health, life and disability insurance.”  The ILO notes that the number of IFAs signed from year to year between 2000 and 2016 has increased and that 115 agreements were concluded in 2016. The European Commission has set up a database of transnational enterprise agreements, with IFA and EDF indicating that 10 additional IFAs have been concluded in 2017 and 8 in 2018. The IFA generally focuses on the metallurgical, construction, chemical, food and service sectors, and it is generally accepted that such negotiations are initiated by trade unions.
Dominique Michel: Most framework agreements cover the entire supply chain, even if the suppliers are not involved.