g8 tu

TUAC position paper on the OECD enlargement of membership and enhanced engagement with non members



  • 0805t_tu_accessionpdf

Executive Summary

  • In TUAC’s view the decision to enter into a new period of membership expansion is the correct one (§1).
  • Enlargement has to increase OECD effectiveness and not undermine it. This requires monitoring the “like-mindedness” of its members in particular the respect for “basic values of pluralistic democracy, respect for human rights and a competitive market economy” (§3).
  • Applying the common values, together with the “acquis” must be a condition for membership of the Organisation and must be a central element of the enhanced engagement with selected non-members (§4).
  • An important element of human rights is the respect of fundamental workers’ rights as defined in the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the associated ILO Conventions (§5).
  • Applicant countries should be required to commit to the respect for the Fundamental Human Rights Conventions of the ILO as part of their OECD membership (§7).
  • The OECD Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee of the OECD should be mandated to conduct an examination of the applicant countries’ observance of core labour standards as part of the “acquis” of the accession process in cooperation with the ILO (§8).
  • The five applicant countries have ratified all eight ILO Human Rights Conventions. However, some specific labour issues of concern in applicant countries are set out in this TUAC note (§10-21).
  • Applicant countries should commit to implementing the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and establishing effective National Contact Points (§9).
  • Countries should commit to establishing capacity to consult with stakeholders on the enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (§9).
  • Countries should recognise stakeholders’ rights in corporate governance as outlined in the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and the Guidelines on State-Owned Assets (§9).
  • Countries should commit to OECD Guidelines for the Protection of Members of Pension Funds (§9).
  • With the exception of Indonesia and South Africa, the five “enhanced engagement” countries have yet to ratify all eight ILO Human Rights Conventions (§22).
  • TUAC wishes to ensure that workers in the enhanced engagement countries have a voice in the process and that fundamental workers’ rights and social issues are part of the engagement (§24).
  • In particular the enhanced engagement strategy with the People’s Republic of China should include major elements of work dealing with the social dimension of China’s development and how to bring labour standards into line with internationally recognised standards (§25).
  • OECD activities in China to promote the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and in particular the planned seminar are particularly important (§27).
  • TUAC will be seeking to ensure that the G8 Heiligendamm Process for which the OECD is providing the platform, ensures the effective involvement and voice of trade unions (§34).
  • A Labour/Management Programme meeting should be held to bring trade unions from the countries concerned into the process (§34).
  • The ILO and OECD should develop a memorandum of understanding as a framework for future cooperation (§8 and 32).