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Multinationals

Globalisation has given rise to extraordinarily large and powerful multinational enterprises (MNEs). Many are active in sectors providing essential public services, including water and sanitation, health and social services, energy, waste collection and treatment. Some have earnings that dwarf some national economies. MNEs scan the world for natural resources, tax havens, the lowest environmental standards, and the lowest wages. They relentlessly assert their rights to profit in international institutions, tax and trade agreements.

Within this context, Global Framework Agreements (GFAs) negotiated between global trade union federations and multinational enterprises are a tool for trade unions with direct membership in such companies to build power, assert their members’ rights and conditions, resolve outstanding conflicts, improve social dialogue and working conditions. GFAs set a threshold of human and labour rights and conditions beyond minimum national and international standards that signatory MNEs commit to abide by. They also help connect and build solidarity among trade unions and workers of the same MNEs across national boundaries.

PSI has negotiated three GFAs with multinational corporations active in the energy sector: these are EDF Group, ENGIE (formerly GDF-Suez) and ENEL, plus a specific agreement with ENGIE (formerly GDF-Suez) on occupational safety and health (OSH).

Binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights

19 October 2018
Room 20 of UN building

The intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations (IGWG) held its fourth meeting on 15-19 October in Geneva, in order to discuss the Zero Draft for an internationally legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Unions assert the need for a Binding Treaty to hold TNCs and IFIs accountable

08 October 2018

As hundreds of representatives of trade unions, social movements and civil society organisations are gathering in Bali on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, a workshop organised by PSI, Walhi / Friends of the Earth Indonesia, and KSBSI within the framework of the People's Summit for Alternative development, asserts the need for a Binding Treaty on TNCs and IFIs with regard to their Human Rights obligations.

Women's rights beyond the business case: ensuring corporate accountability

01 September 2018

Together with a wide range of organisations under the umbrella of the Feminists for a Binding Treaty coalition, PSI has participated in the production of this briefing that highlights the importance of a binding gender-just international accountability framework for Transnational Corporations (TNCs).

VIDEO: Watch the presentations of the International Seminar on Corporate Power

28 August 2018

The event held by PSI, with the support from FES, on August 1 and 2 in Panama City, sought to analyze how transnationals capture democracy, manipulate public opinion and seek to control personal data to be used in accordance with their own private interests.

Norwegian affiliate press charges against private health company

21 August 2018
Mette Nord, President of Fagforbundet.

"This is a very serious matter, where a large and professional private health company has taken advantage of our members," says Mette Nord, President of Fagforbundet.

UN Working Group takes key step towards binding international treaty on Business and Human Rights

24 July 2018

After over a decade of advocacy efforts from civil society and unions, the UN Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to Human Rights (OEIGWG), has made available a draft binding instrument on business and human rights.

Renegotiated Global Framework Agreement with EDF Group enters into force

25 June 2018

On 19 June, national trade union federations representing a majority of EDF Group workers affiliated to PSI and IndustriAll completed the signature of the renewed Global Framework Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility with EDF Group, which entered in full force as of 21 June for a 4-year term.

Women's rights beyond the business case: ensuring corporate accountability

01 September 2018

Together with a wide range of organisations under the umbrella of the Feminists for a Binding Treaty coalition, PSI has participated in the production of this briefing that highlights the importance of a binding gender-just international accountability framework for Transnational Corporations (TNCs).

Global framework agreement on the EDF Group’s corporate social responsibility (2018)

03 July 2018

On 29 May 2018 PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli, IndustriAll General Secretary Valter Sanchez and EDF Group CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy signed a renewed Global Framework Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility covering human and labour rights in the presence of the International Labour Organization Director General Guy Ryder, during the 107th session of the International Labour Conference with the participation of French trade unions. Later, on 19 June, national trade union federations representing a majority of EDF Group workers affiliated to PSI and IndustriAll completed the signature of the renewed Global Framework Agreement with EDF Group, which entered in full force as of 21 June for a 4-year term.

PSI and IndustriALL sign renegotiated Global Framework Agreement with EDF Group

28 May 2018

On 29 May 2018 PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli, IndustriAll General Secretary Valter Sanchez and EDF Group CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy signed a renewed Global Framework Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility covering human and labour rights in the presence of the International Labour Organization Director General Guy Ryder, during the 107th session of the International Labour Conference with the participation of French trade unions .

PSI supports the release of ICRICT's second declaration

16 November 2016

"Four Ways to Tackle International Tax Competition" was launched on 15 November in Brussels by the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT).

Policy brief EB-148 : Multinational Enterprises (MNEs)

04 October 2016

This policy brief on Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) was produced for the PSI Executive Board EB-148 held at the ILO in Geneva (Switzerland) on 19-20 May 2016. Its objective is to inform EB-148 of activities related to MNEs since PSI Steering Committee SC-19 that took place in Geneva (Switzerland) in November 2015. The brief is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish and Japanese.

Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More

25 February 2015

This research paper published by Oxfam International shows that the richest 1 percent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014 and at this rate will be more than 50 percent in 2016.

Health and safety agreement between Global Unions and GDF-Suez (2014)

16 June 2014

Global Unions and GDF-Suez signed a global agreement on 14 May 2014 that will define and implement fundamental principles regarding health and safety at work within GDF SUEZ companies.

Tax Justice and Anti-Corruption Declaration (Buenos Aires, 26 April 2014)

23 May 2014

The provision of quality public services is a right for all. Ensuring that these services are adequately funded and free from corruption is essential to their provision.

Presention: PSI Tax Justice

23 May 2014

Presented by Teresa Marshall, PSI Communications Coordinator, at the PSI Tax Justice & Anti-Corruption Forum, April 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Presentation: Fiscal justice, public services and workers

23 May 2014

Presentation by Elizabeth Villagomez for the PSI Tax Justice & Anti-Corruption Forum, April 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Working for the alternative: Implementing PSI's mandate in 2013 and beyond

19 March 2013

The 2012 PSI World Congress provided a framework for Public Services International's discussions and decisions. However, it is necessary to focus priorities. This document presents a detailed implementation plan for PSI's mandate in 2013 and beyond.

PSI Congress Resolutions

12 March 2013

Resolutions adopted at the 29th World Congress of Public Services International, held in Durban, South Africa, 27-30 November 2012. The resolutions are available in English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Japanese and Russian.

Resolution 35: Migration Project

30 November 2012

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI), meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012

Resolution 34: PSI Sector Networks

30 November 2012

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI),

PSI at the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights

24 October 2016

From 24 to 28 October 2016, Public Services International, together with Governments, regional and political groups, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, NGOs and many other relevant stakeholders, will be participating in the 2nd public meetings of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIWG), which could lead to the adoption of an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs or MNEs).

PSI participates in ILO meeting in Peru

15 October 2014
Part of PSI delegation members

PSI has just taken part, with a delegation of 48 members, in the 18th American Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) held in the capital of Peru, Lima, from 13-16 October.

Uruguay celebrates ten years of constitutional reform in defence of water

10 October 2014
Por el agua

On 9 October, the people of Uruguay celebrated the tenth anniversary of the victorious referendum in defence of water that forced a change to the constitution. Amendments to the constitution recognised water as a basic human right and made it impossible to privatise water resources and services.

Photos: Tax Justice & Anti-Corruption Forum, Argentina, April 2014

23 May 2014

More than 100 members of affiliate unions of Public Services International (PSI) came together from across the Americas for a Tax Justice and Anti-Corruption Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina in late April 2014.