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Action Plan 2021-2025

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Another world is possible and necessary. To achieve it, we need global union solidarity and cooperation for peace, democracy and rights. Our mission is to secure social justice, equality and equity, with a decent standard of living for all. 


Overview and Analysis of the global, political, economic, social and labour situation


Another world is possible and necessary. To achieve it, we need global union solidarity and cooperation for peace, democracy and rights. Our mission is to secure social justice, equality and equity, with a decent standard of living for all. 

IndustriALL Global Union is committed to extending solidarity and support to all affiliates, mobilizing and organizing against the abuse of human and labour rights, whether by business or governments. Gender equality and the advancement of women’s rights are fundamental to all IndustriALL’s work and actions.

IndustriALL Global Union Must Continue to Struggle

Unions, progressive movements and political parties have the opportunity to build a new society. If IndustriALL Global Union is to be a part of this, we must ensure that our organization can organize campaigns and actions and deliver the solutions that working people desperately need. 

We have to do so within the structures of our trade unions which comprise our existing reality, but this does not mean we are satisfied with them. Our actions must be guided by the principles of organizing, of bringing people with us, bringing unions together to create more powerful organizations in sectors and industries rather than fragmented organizations to create workplace power capable of standing up to capital. 

Our main principles need to be:

  • To organize around the real needs of working people across the globe;
  • To act to engender hope, and to give hope to those who may be slumping into despair;
  •  To work for a decent wage commensurate with workers’ increasing skills;
  •  To oppose the continuing growth of precarious employment in all its forms including the fictional self-employment;
  • To demand a better life for workers, their families and their communities;
  • To fight for universal public services and public investments in a sustainable future; 
  • To defend and advance gender equality in the world of work and in our societies;
  • To give leadership to our communities, our nations and a voice to the voiceless.

Call to action

Through our global trade union solidarity and action, we are fighting back and building the model of the world we want. With this Action Plan, we will further strengthen and coordinate our responses in accordance with our strategic goals. Implementation of this Action Plan will be carried out by affiliates as well as by the Secretariat, which together comprise IndustriALL Global Union. In pursuit of our vision of a better world, we will work together with other global unions, social movements and any other organisations that support our aims. By endorsing this Action Plan, we commit ourselves to taking the actions we have decided are necessary to achieve our collective goals.

Affiliates of IndustriALL Global Union have the determination, ability and power in being able to construct a better world and a brighter future. Let’s do it together!

Amandla, Awetu!

United for a Just Future!

IndustriALL Global Union’s Strategic Objectives and Actions

Advance workers’ rights

Fundamental trade union rights are under attack across the world. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Promote the expanded focus of the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work on fundamental rights to freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain as well as an adequate minimum wage, maximum limits on working time and safety and health at work;
  • Work towards the ratification, implementation and respect for all international labour standards;
  • Support affiliates in bridging policy, enforcement and implementation gaps of international and national labour standards;
  • Organize and mobilize global solidarity support when the rights of workers and unions are threatened and attacked, and oppose intervention by state forces in industrial relations;
  • Support affiliates to strengthen their capacity to respond to labour rights violations;
  • Build alliances among unions as well as strategic cooperation with other organizations to maximize our collective power to advance and defend rights;
  • Campaign to extend rights of workers who are not protected by existing standards, including LGBTQ+ workers and migrant workers;
  • Demand an ILO Convention on global supply chains that establishes legal accountability of both direct employers and lead firms, and provides guidance for developing policy and legislation to ensure respect for workers’ rights.

Fighting against the wage crisis is essential in combatting global inequality as it continues to rise. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Promote industry bargaining as a means to reduce inequality, lift wages and conditions and prevent lower standards being used to give companies a competitive advantage;
  • Hold multinational companies to account for the wages paid to produce their goods;
  • Fight for binding and enforceable, industry-wide agreements that guarantee all workers, including precarious workers, a fair share of the wealth that they generate;
  • Support the development and implementation of national action plans for a living wage;
  • Promote participation of workers and trade unions in wage setting mechanisms and structures;
  • Promote efforts to ensure equal remuneration for work of equal value, including collective bargaining demands to bridge the gender pay gap;
  • Implement the ACT initiative towards living wages in the garment industry through industry collective bargaining linked to brand purchasing practices;
  • Build the capacity of national garment worker unions in the producing countries to bring the global apparel brands and their suppliers to national industry-wide bargaining tables.

There has been far too little progress on women’s rights at work. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Take action to advance and protect the rights of women workers;
  • Establish a Gender Equality Taskforce under the Women’s Committee, comprising equal numbers of men and women, including young workers to work on increasing women’s participation in industries and ensure women gain leadership roles in our unions through strengthening democracy;
  • Raise the visibility of women working in our industries and promote women’s, and particularly young women’s, employment in jobs from which they have traditionally been excluded;
  • Work in sectors and networks on strategies to address gender segmentation in our industries and remove barriers to gender equality;
  • Continue to campaign against violence against women in our workplaces and trade unions and society as a whole;
  • Work towards the ratification, implementation and respect for international labour standards promoting the protection and advancement of women’s rights and gender equality, including ILO Conventions 111, 183 and 190;
  • Support affiliates in their collective bargaining efforts towards gender equality, protection of women from discrimination, sexual harassment and all forms of violence, including through binding and enforceable supply chain commitments.

The continuing rise of precarious work threatens all our hard won rights. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Support trade unions to campaign against precarious work, organize precarious workers and secure their rights;
  • Identify and raise awareness of the different impacts of precarious work on male and female workers and ensure that measures taken benefit them equally;
  • Promote reform of union structures where these stand in the way of union membership for precarious workers;
  • Raise awareness of how precarious work impacts workers and society as a whole;
  • Call for legislation that restricts precarious work and guarantees the rights of precarious workers, including the right to join a trade union and other rights and benefits equal to those provided to permanent workers;
  • Take concrete steps to tackle informal economy. Recognise workers of this sector in the trade union movement and support their transition to the formal economy;
  • Encourage the negotiation of collective agreements that convert precarious jobs to permanent, improve conditions for precarious workers and protect their rights;
  • Demand that employers invest in young people through long term employment commitments, training and education;
  • Continue to campaign to STOP Precarious Work in all its forms;

Work is killing our members. Deaths, injuries and disease persist in our industries yet employers are not held accountable. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Promote respect for freedom of association as essential to ensuring health and safety at work;
  • Call for the recognition of health and safety as a fundamental right as ILO standard, and the recognition of Covid-19 as an occupational disease; campaign for adoption a new ILO convention on protection against biological hazards and risks;
  • Continue to campaign for ratification of C.176 on Safety and Health in Mines;
  • Demand action from governments and employers to eliminate specific hazards such as asbestos and silica;
  • Demand that all workers have the right to know and understand the dangers of their work, the right to refuse unsafe work, and the right to participate fully in health and safety decision making;
  • Develop a gender responsive approach to health and safety, and demand that employers take into account gender based violence in the management of health and safety at work, in line with the new C 190;
  • Call on governments to provide strong and enforceable regulatory frameworks and inspection mechanisms capable of protecting workers against accidents and illnesses, promoting workers’ welfare and sanctioning offenders with penalties that are strong enough to act as a deterrent;
  • Demand that employers be held legally accountable for the deaths, injuries and illnesses they cause;
  • Support research, access to health and safety information, training and participation of workers in intervention mechanisms on matters pertaining to safety and health at work;
  • With other signatories of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, negotiate a new legally binding agreement that supersedes the current 2018 Accord and expands coverage to other countries. This will enable workers to hold brands accountable for the safety of their factories in all producing countries and the necessary support for the work of RSC in Bangladesh.

Building Union Power

Capital is global, unions must organize and act globally too. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Increase global union power by supporting its affiliated trade unions in organizing all workers throughout global supply chains, including the ones with “non-standard forms of employment” (generally precarious workers);
  • Support research to identify workplaces in global supply chains and organize them; 
  • Work in the industry sectors on global campaigns to build union power in industries and companies. IndustriALL will prioritize building capacity to assist affiliates with strategic organizing and bargaining campaigns in multinational companies and their suppliers, and will coordinate wherever possible with other Global Unions;
  • Support education and capacity-building programs including developing new and effective forms of organizing;
  • Support the formation of company union networks in all industries, providing resources to bring together representatives of unions throughout the supply chains of global lead firms to develop and implement strategies that build union power.

We need a transformative agenda for the trade union movement. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Examine our own structures to find ways to involve affiliated national unions more effectively in the development and implementation of strategies for collective action;
  • Find new ways to make unions relevant to workers who do not see their needs reflected in trade union demands and structures, particularly young workers, LGBTQI+ workers and white collar workers;
  • Create a transformative agenda for trade unions to equip them to organize particular groups of workers, including precarious workers;
  • Adopt specific measures to support and integrate young women workers, promote youth policies and ensure strong youth representation in IndustriALL’s structures;
  • Harness the power of social media and other tools to communicate a trade union message and develop new forms of organizing;
  • Build alliances in communities and more generally to bring more workers into the trade union movement and strengthen our collective power at global and national levels through joint actions.

Building union strength lies in our capacity to organize and unite workers. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Support unions to build sustainable, democratic structures, funded through the dues collected from their members;
  • Build unity among affiliates overcoming fragmentation—at the sectoral level, or in terms of representing permanent workers and precarious workers alike—through encouraging mergers, alliances and the creation of national councils;
  • Make contact with non-affiliated unions to explore working together with a view to affiliation;
  • Mobilize funds received through trade union cooperation projects to provide additional support to strengthen trade unions, involving affiliates in their planning and implementation.

Trade union structures are still dominated by men and women continue to be under-represented as members and as leaders. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Support efforts to recruit and retain women members to better reflect their presence in the workforce;
  • Improve union knowledge of where women are working in our industries and the issues that are important to them;
  • Map and gather data on women’s union membership and presence in leadership positions;
  • Identify and address obstacles in union cultures, structures, decision-making processes that prevent equal inclusion of women in our unions and consequently weaken the unions;
  • Advance concrete measures to increase women’s participation and representation in unions, including organizing, training, collective bargaining and the budget allocation necessary to realize the objectives;
  • Promote women’s leadership in trade unions, including through provisions in statutes and developing more inclusive leadership structures and election processes;
  • Increase the visibility of women in trade unions in our communications;
  • Establish regional women’s structures;

The power of multinationals over the working conditions of our members is increasing as the protection afforded by national labour law declines. We must increase union power to negotiate and reach binding agreements with multinational companies through global industrial relations. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Continue to lead the development of global industrial relations through negotiating, signing and implementing binding global agreements that cover supply chain workers;
  • Work with other global unions to develop an accessible, efficient and effective international labour conciliation and arbitration mechanism to enforce binding global agreements and settle disputes between global unions and MNCs;
  • Negotiate with multinational companies to include this mechanism in our global agreements;
  • Mobilize internationally in support of stronger and more effective global agreements;
  • Continue to work to strengthen conflict resolution mechanism including by examining the new tool that the ILO will make available such as professional mediators appointed to conduct the mediation process in conflicts.

Confront Global Capital

Binding global rules are urgently needed to confront global corporate power as it is beyond anything we have ever seen. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Continue to fight for binding legal instruments to protect people from human rights abuses by MNCs, including support for a Binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights that is supported by effective remedy systems;
  • Campaign for human and labour rights’ compulsory due diligence be regulated at international and national levels through binding legislation; 
  • Fight for legislation at national level that puts binding obligations on MNCs to take responsibility for labour rights in their supply chains;
  • Fight for an ILO Convention on supply chains that includes global frameworks with core labour standards for cross-border negotiation and collective bargaining and demand that ILO occupational health and safety standards to be added to the core labour standards;
  • Demand that ILO standards be incorporated into public procurement and processes for large financed infrastructure projects under the general conditions of the International Financial Institutions (IFI).

We must campaign against corporate power as it is out of control. 

We take action to hold MNCs accountable for the pay and working conditions of all the workers who create their profits.

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Strengthen national unions to confront global corporations and target support towards cross-border organizing campaigns that seek to mobilize workers throughout an MNC;
  • Encourage exchange of information on collective agreements, including coordinated bargaining strategies;
  • Defend the right of unions to take strike or other forms of direct action in support of international solidarity, especially within the same MNC;
  • Conduct corporate campaigns and strategic research to build our global actions from a base of strong action at national level;
  • Develop strategies to improve labour rights and working conditions in global supply chains, cooperating across industry sectors and working to improve MNC purchasing practices;
  • Acknowledge the specific role played by women at the bottom of the supply chains, and propose specific action to address their needs;
  • Develop strategies to mobilize workers’ capital in order to influence corporate governance and investment, enforce international labour standards and generate sustainable jobs;
  • Build alliances with socially responsible investors to stop investment in companies that violate workers’ rights.

Building a global industrial relations’ system is a key element in confronting global capital. Social dialogue and collective agreements are important tools for promoting social justice and achieving inclusive social and economic progress. We must organize internationally in MNCs and their supply chains and demand direct dialogue and negotiations at global level. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Engage in active dialogue with multinational companies, to build strong industrial relationships that enable union concerns to be raised at all levels of the company and its supply chain;
  • Negotiate and sign strong and binding global agreements with multinational companies that secure organizing, job security, and collective bargaining rights for all workers throughout supply chains worldwide;
  • Ensure that Global Framework Agreements (GFAs) are used to actively promote gender equality;
  • Develop a framework for global industrial relations with companies, that recognizes binding and enforceable GFAs as an essential part of their due diligence obligations to their supply chains, with grievance mechanisms at all levels and remedy;
  • Establish, support with resources, and maintain global trade union networks and global works councils to build union power among the union representatives from the locations of the same multinational companies worldwide;
  • Protect and advance women rights in the world of work through campaigning and dialogue with MNCs;
  • Link up worker representatives along transnational supply chains;
  • Develop an International Labour Conciliation and Arbitration (ILCA) mechanism that can be used to enforce binding agreements between global unions and MNCs;
  • Negotiate binding dispute resolution clauses into Global Framework Agreements;
  • Transform industry supply chains by targeting the most influential companies and pursuing agreements with multiple MNCs that set standards for global industries, building on the Bangladesh Accord and the ACT agreement on living wages, towards global supply chain industrial relations.

Sustainable Industrial Policy

IndustriALL, representing workers in the whole manufacturing supply chain, from extraction to end-consumer products has a critical role to play in calling for sustainable industrial policy. IndustriALL recognizes that industry is a key driver of jobs and development for national economies and the foundation of good living standards. Developing industries and securing industrial jobs, as a driver of social progress, is an important part of this global struggle. Workers must have a say in the policies that determine the future of their industries. Governments must be able to utilize industrial policy tools. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Campaign for economic policies ensuring inclusive growth, full employment and decent work and that both governments and corporations are held accountable;
  • Call for strong industrial policies that advance social, economic and environmental sustainability;
  • Encourage unions to work at national level, in engagement with government and employer associations, to develop industrial policy that includes measures to safeguard and create well-paid and secure jobs and guarantees of sustainable employment;
  • Demand that sustainable industrial policies and plans be developed through the social dialogue process with unions as full partners;
  • Demand policy coherence between local, regional, and national plans, for example cities competing with each other to attract "green" industries;
  • Work in the industrial sectors on actions towards sustainability and look for synergies between sectors;
  • Propagate IndustriALL’s Sustainable Industrial Policy objectives and program in regions and countries to build awareness and encourage action among affiliates.

Trade is not an end in itself, but must benefit workers and societies as a whole. Used appropriately, trade policy is one of the principal drivers of prosperous and inclusive societies with decent economic, social, and ecological development. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Campaign for fair trade agreements that contain and guarantee strong and enforceable protections for workers’ rights;
  • Intervene in trade policy forums to ensure that workers interests are protected in trade agreements;
  • Take coordinated actions and develop intervention strategies at national, regional and global levels to give effect to IndustriALL’s guiding principles on trade.

Energy is a basic need and a public good, and public authorities must govern its production and use with public policies in the public interest whether in the extraction, production, transmission and distribution of energy, particularly facing the rapid changes driven by environmental needs and disruptive new technologies. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Develop progressive energy policies that fully take into account the interests of workers as they face rapid changes in national energy policies and structures to address climate change, and to adapt to new technologies that substantially change the skills and qualifications required of energy workers;
  • Support the development of a balanced energy mix through democratic discussions in the countries concerned and accept that the energy mix will vary greatly country by country;
  • Give full support to affiliates worldwide fighting back against further liberalization and deregulation of energy markets.

The objective of a Just Transition (JT) is to secure the livelihoods and rights of all workers, especially those in industries that may be impacted by efforts to limit greenhouse gases or by the introduction of new technologies. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Fight for a JT able to handle transformations around climate change, energy transition, digitalization and any other change in economy, industries and working conditions;
  • Demand public regulation for JT and a seat for trade unions at the table for discussions at company, local, national, regional, and global levels to establish basic structures and ground rules through social dialogue;
  • Demand the establishment of a permanent institution (national observatory, permanent round table, or similar) to ensure a JT for all affected workers;
  • Demand recognition of fundamental labour rights as core principles within any discussions;
  • Ensure that the strategies, policies and measures towards the development of a sustainable industrial policy and a Just Transition are gender responsive.

The rapid expansion of digitalization, automation and shifts in energy and production technologies are creating massive risks in the world of work, including to secure and safe jobs. IndustriALL wants a future of work that harnesses the positive changes that Industry 4.0 may bring for all of society, while making sure that workers are not left to pay the social debts of companies, with governments unwilling to make this transition socially responsible. 

IndustriALL Global Union will:

  • Demand full participation of workers in global, regional, national and company level discussions on Industry 4.0 and in future industrial and technological transformation;
  • Continue to promote collective responses to technology, and limit the power of capital and its desire to promote inequality;
  • Encourage affiliates to demand proper labour market policies that include improved national education, training, re-training and skilling policies that consider the changing skills, the appropriate qualifications for Industry 4.0 and that include unions in the design and delivery;
  • Demand the three main rights in the process, namely the right to information and consultation rights by workers’ representatives, at the local, regional, national and international levels; the right to education and training – life-long learning; and the right to defined levels of privacy, at work and at home;
  • Provide education and integrate a gender perspective in trade union strategies related to Industry 4.0, including identifying high-risk jobs or positions and industries, the different impacts on male and female workers and promoting women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths);
  • Call for a Trade Union 4.0 to respond to the impacts of Industry 4.0.
  • Campaign for proper regulation and protection of all new modalities of work, including telework, mobile work, remote work and working at home, through ILO standards, national legislation and collective bargaining.