International Framework Agreements: Chances of a New Instrument

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Krakow (2012)


International Framework Agreement (IFA) are important in international labour regulation. As the globalization of production and markets is increasing, an international regulation of labour is strongly needed. IFAs are agreed between companies and workers’ representations and define fundamental labour standards. Most of the IFAs are concluded in European enterprises. As there is still little experience in regard of the implementation process of IFAs, this presentation tries to answer some questions: How are IFAs implemented and which factors are crucial? Do they have any impact in countries outside Europe which rely on very different labour relation systems, and where workers’ representation is often weak, with public pressure for the respect of fundamental labour rights limited or absent? On the basis of a study in German enterprises of the automotive industry in Mexico it is shown that the expectations of public and corporate actors as well as the pressure of workers’ representatives are important for the successful implementation of IFAs. In the emerging country Mexico such expectations hardly exist, so that especially the international network of actors and expectations is essential. It is shown that IFAs are a part of an international network of labour regulation and create new possibilities to broaden this network. If IFAs are published and adequately promoted, they raise the expectations of actors and can be used as leverage for other kinds of negotiations.

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