Global framework agreements are being used to boost union organizing, collective bargaining agreements and social dialogue. They are becoming a stronger tool for improving labor relations in the supply chain and combating violence and harassment in the garment sector. Gender-based violence, and particularly sexual harassment, is prevalent in the industry. Most garment workers are women and many are young and migrant workers, who are not aware of their rights. They have little access to safe housing and transportation, while the fashion industry generates excessive overtime, low pay, and long working hours.
Global framework agreements are negotiated at a global level between trade unions and a multinational company. They put in place the very best standards of trade union rights, health, safety and environmental practices, and quality of work principles across a company’s global operations, regardless of whether those standards exist in an individual country.
Trade unions are essential in ensuring that the global framework agreements are implemented in the global brands’ supplier factories. The increase of unionization rate in supplier factories is key to enable trade unions to monitor the agreements and to ensure that workers’ rights are respected in the global garment supply chain. Global fashion brands like Asos, Esprit and H&M have signed such agreements.