Sep 16 – 17, 2021
Palazzo Strozzi
Europe/Rome timezone

A review of transnational company agreements: Stagnation of international agreements and decline of European agreements - why?

Not scheduled
Altana (Palazzo Strozzi)


Palazzo Strozzi

Track 3 3.2


Udo Rehfeldt (IRES (France))


Although the first transnational company agreement (TCA) was signed already in the 1980s, the real dynamics of these agreements did not begin until the 2000s. These agreements, which are still very much in the minority among all of the transnational companies (TNCs) peaked in 2008. Since then, there has been, at best, stagnation in the number of international framework agreements (IFAs) negotiated each year. This stagnation hides a difficulty in extending them to new businesses not only outside Europe, but also in Europe itself. For the European framework agreements (EFAs), on the other hand, there is a loss of momentum and a drop in the number of agreements. We will shed light on the factors that would explain these different dynamics, by analyzing the strategies and practices of the actors. The analysis will focus on actors in French and German TNCs, which have signed more than half of all TCAs and thus dominate the dynamics of transnational negotiation. It will reveal the contradictory role of the mandating and validation procedures adopted by the European and international trade union federations which in turn influence the practices of the local actors. Several effects can be observed, including a renationalization of negotiations, greater informality of agreements and a change in company preferences.

Primary author

Udo Rehfeldt (IRES (France))

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