Global framework agreements the way forward for the future of the commerce sector
Global framework agreements have been a fundamental part in UNI Global Union's growth over the past 20 years. At the UNI Commerce Conference in Berlin, Head of UNI Commerce Mathias Bolton underlined that they would be a huge part of its future too. Under the slogan "Forward", Bolton outlined the future for UNI Commerce but also emphasised the importance of taking stock of the achievements thus far.
"Strengthening and building global agreements and trade union alliances has been the core of our work in UNI Commerce", said Bolton. "GFAs are not perfect, but they have often transcended political changes in countries and allowed us to organise in companies despite the closing of democratic spaces."
In Pakistan, Colombia and Russia, traditionally some of the most dangerous and difficult countries to organise in, UNI Commerce has been able to break through for workers due to GFAs at company level.
According to Romanian activist Vasile Gogescu, who recently organised workers at Carrefour, "GFAs in countries like Romania, Russia or Pakistan, global agreements are like oxygen."
Stressing the achievements of UNI Global Union in the last 20 years, Bolton said, "We must not underestimate the strengths of our successes in the commerce sector. In the hypermarket industry, 4 of the 8 largest companies have signed global framework agreements with UNI Commerce - Carrefour, AEON, Metro and Auchan. We must build on what we have already achieved in order to strengthen collective bargaining power and make positive change for retail workers in the future."