• Designed to protect the interests of workers employed in all operations of the multinational companies who sign them, global framework agreements (GFAs) are negotiated at a global level between trade unions and companies.
Global framework agreements (GFAs) are becoming a stronger tool for improving labour relations in the supply chain

Global framework agreements (GFAs) are becoming a stronger tool for improving labour relations in the supply chain

Global framework agreements (GFAs) that put in place the best standards of trade union rights, health, safety and environmental practices, and quality of work principles across a company's global operations should be negotiated with more global garment brands, a meeting has heard.

Global fashion brands including Asos, Esprit, H&M, Inditex and Tchibo have negotiated and signed GFAs with the IndustriAll global union.

They joined more than 80 trade union leaders from Turkey, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mauritius and Morocco in Cesme, Turkey, last week to explore how GFAs and social dialogue could be used to promote the new ILO Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 on violence and harassment in the garment sector.

GFAs are becoming a stronger tool for improving labour relations in the supply chain, according to IndustriAll, which says trade unions in Turkey and Bangladesh have organised more than 50 new GFA supplier factories.

As well as a call for IndustriAll to negotiate more such agreements, trade unions should also push to review existing collective agreements and GFAs, to ensure they are in line with the Convention 190.

There was also strong support for production country trade unions to play a greater role in monitoring global framework agreements, since national unions are essential in ensuring that the GFAs are implemented in the global brands' supplier factories.

"The increase of unionisation rate in GFA supplier factories is key to enable trade unions to monitor the agreements and to ensure that workers' rights are respected in the global garment supply chain," says Christina Hajagos-Clausen, IndustriAll director for the textile and garment industry.