The IMF and Ford signed an International Framework Agreement (IFA) in Detroit on April 25. It is the first IFA with an automotive company outside of Europe.
USA: After more than a year of talks with Ford management led by IMF-affiliated United Auto Workers (UAW), the International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF) signed an International Framework Agreement with the company during the first meeting of the Ford Global Information Sharing Committee in Detroit on April 25.
This is the first IFA to be signed by an automotive company outside Europe and represents a significant development in labour relations in the global automotive sector.
"With an IFA, companies commit to basic human and labour rights not only in their "home countries" but also in all other countries where they are based. In addition, and this is really important, they demand their suppliers to follow these principles also. This enable us, even in countries where these rights are not respected, to achieve better living and working conditions for the people there," stressed Helmut Lense, Director of the IMF Automotive Department.
At the same time Ford also agreed to a "Ford Global Information Sharing Committee", a forum in which workers' representatives and trade unionists from Ford sites worldwide can meet once a year to share information and to discuss mutual support.
Part of this annual meeting is also a conference with management where the management will inform participants of the situation of the company, investment plans and all other issues which affect workers and workplaces. And it's also a forum to address cases to the HQ management that have not been solved locally.
Holding the meeting for the first time on April 24 and 25, worker representatives from Ford's main sites in US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and South Africa participated, with their costs covered by the company. Other representatives from Europe and India also attended the meeting and it is hoped that eventually the committee will include worker representatives from all production plants of Ford.
"This is a significant step forward in international cooperation and mutual support among the workers at Ford plants all over the world," said Bob King, President of UAW.
A copy of the IFA and the agreement for the information sharing committee with Ford can be found on the IMF website here.