A new Global Framework Agreement (GFA) was signed on 14 June in Rome between Italian-based power and gas multinational company Enel Group and IndustriALL Global Union, Public Service International (PSI) and Italian trade unions.
The new GFA defines a set of guidelines aimed to establish global level social dialogue, which is regarded as the pre-eminent approach in dealing with issues affecting the interests of the business and employees.
According to the new GFA, the Group undertakes responsibility to respect a series of fundamental principles contained in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN guiding principles on Business and Human Rights, the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy and the UN Global Compact, as well as the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Companies -.
The parties agreed that the principles contained in all of the listed instruments are considered to be part of this agreement. With the GFA, “Enel will remain neutral (refrain from interfering in any way) and allow trade union access to workplaces during organizing campaigns for the purposes of communicating with employees pursuant to the legislation and the Industrial Relations systems in each country”. Recognizing the importance of permanent and secure employment, Enel adopts and promotes the ILO definition of “Decent Work”.
Among other instruments, the agreement foresees creation of a Global Works Council and three Multilateral Committees on health and safety, training and equal opportunities which will contribute to a proper social dialogue system representing all countries where the Group operates.
The new GFA argues that, “an industrial relations’ policy based on social dialogue offers a robust foundation for building and implementing a system that incorporates the Group's values and international culture which allows all employees to feel they are citizens in the countries where it operates, accepted and integrated into local communities, while retaining full respect for the specific conditions in each country.”
Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary, appreciated the value of the agreement, has underlined the importance of its founding principles and the objectives of the new participatory system, declaring that the coherent application of these principles will be now the real challenge.
Commenting on the agreement Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL Global Union’s General Secretary said, “IndustriALL welcomes Enel’s strong commitment to develop global level dialogue with workers and their unions, with focus on workers’ rights, health and safety, training and equality.”
Enel Group has nearly 74,000 employees across the globe and operates a wide range of hydroelectric, thermoelectric, nuclear, geothermal, wind, solar and other renewable power plants operating mainly in Europe and Latin America. The Group holds 92 percent of the shares of Spanish Group Endesa with which IndustriALL’s founder organization ICEM had signed a global agreement.