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).

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.

Global Unions sign global health and safety agreement with GDF-SUEZ

12 June 2014
Signing of new health and safety agreement

On 13 May 2014, representatives from Public Services International, IndustriALL and Building and Woodworkers' International (BWI) signed a health and safety agreement with GDF-SUEZ. The agreement resolves to define and implement fundamental principles regarding health and safety at work within GDF SUEZ companies.

Fighting corporate privilege in trade and investment

23 May 2014

On 13–15 May 2014, representatives from 45 civil society and trade union organisations from every continent met in Istanbul to discuss and plan action to deal with the latest attacks on the public good, launched by multinational corporations (MNCs) through global trade agreements. The meeting focussed on how new clauses are being introduced into trade agreements to allow MNCs to sue governments if a government has taken action that limits the profit of the MNC.

US Labor Relations Board complaint against FirstEnergy labour practices

05 May 2014

The U.S. National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint charging FirstEnergy Corp., its operating companies West Penn Power and Potomac Edison, and other FirstEnergy subsidiaries with a wide range of unfair labor practices during ongoing negotiations with the Utility Workers Union of America for a new labor agreement covering more than 700 workers throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia.

PSI signs Global Framework Agreement to improve workers’ rights and representation with Enel

25 June 2013
Rosa Pavanelli PSI General Secretary signs the agreement

On 14 June 2013 in Rome, Italy, the global unions Public Services International and IndustriALL signed a Global Framework Agreement with the multinational enterprise Enel, which operates in more than 40 countries.

Report: Public Finance Control and Anti-Corruption Strategies Forum (2013)

14 June 2013

Public Services International leader Rosa Pavanelli opened the Public Finance Control and Anti-Corruption Strategies Forum on 13 June 2013 by saying: “Corruption is one of the sicknesses of our society. We believe that one of the best alternatives to austerity and cuts to public spending is to seriously fight against corruption. We also link this new PSI campaign against corruption to the fight for global tax justice.”

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.