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From International Framework Agreements to Transnational Collective Bargaining

  • Reingard ZimmerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR, volume 10)

Abstract

Law and policy with regard to collective agreements have traditionally been the preserve of individual nation states. Due to the internationalization of business, the necessity of responses from the workers’ side became more and more evident and global trade union federations started to negotiate and sign global agreements with transnational companies. Today, numerous such international framework agreements with the aim to protect social standards are in place. The agreements developed over time and as industrial relations within Europe deepened, also European Agreements were concluded, and the terminology changed towards transnational collective agreements. With this development, the aspect that the agreements are the product of social dialogue and thus a form of collective bargaining is stronger emphasized. The content of agreements with European scope highly differs from the content of international agreements. While the latter primarily deal with minimum social standards, European agreements cover a wide range of subjects, restructuring being the main topic. New developments concerning transnational agreements can be highlighted with the conclusion of new agreements like the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which contains not just a stronger mechanism of enforcement, but also a legally binding dispute resolution mechanism, which is a novelty and will have its impact on the composition of new transnational agreements. Summarizing, the development of transnational collective agreements can be characterized as a step towards the internationalization of industrial relations.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Berlin School of Economics and LawBerlinGermany

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