8 October 2019

8 October 2019

Break-out sessions

During the conference there will be two rounds of break-out sessions, offering you a choice from many inspiring and noteworthy examples of social dialogue from various sectors (flowers, agriculture, fresh fruits and vegetables, palm oil, garments, shipbreaking) and countries (Nepal, Uganda, Ghana, Peru, Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Colombia).

1. Capacity development for social dialogue at company level
2. Social dialogue at national level – Nepal and Peru
3. Inclusive social dialogue for informal workers
4. Respecting trade union rights – approaches for business
5. Social dialogue to shape the future of work
6. SD in the 21st century global garment industry
7. From sourcing dialogue to social dialogue
8. How to promote SD in the supply chain – palm oil sector
9. Social dialogue in the supply chain: shipbreaking India
10. SD to combat climate change and ensure decent work – Nigeria
11. New ways of SD at national level: The Ghana model
12. Negotiating for win-win as an essential tool for SD

1. Capacity development for social dialogue at company level

Bargaining at company level in the South. Is it important? Yes, it is. Is it a fundamental right? Yes, it is. But is it easy? Not always.

Mondiaal FNV is able to support trade unions in facilitating dialogue and bargaining processes. How do we do that? In this break-out session we will explain this by way of concrete examples and we will discuss a case together. Alejandro Arrieta Pongo, Manager of fruits and vegetables company Camposol from Peru will explain successful experiences in building a social dialogue structure with the local union, with the support of Mondiaal FNV and DECP (Dutch Employers’ Cooperation Programme). Janepher Nassali, Secretary General of the young trade union UHISPAWU, will speak about how they have been trained in collective bargaining and social dialogue by FNV, and how it helped to improve the social dialogue, wages and labour conditions at flower farms.

2. How do you build up a social dialogue at national level in a new context? Experiences from Nepal and Peru.

The king is gone: new forms of social dialogue are emerging in Nepal! Since the ending of the monarchy, Nepal has entered into a new era. Social partners and the government are reviving their abilities to enter into social dialogue in order to improve labour conditions.

During this break-out session, Mr Binod Shrestha of the Nepalese trade union platform JTUCC and Mr. Chandra Prasad Dhakal of the Nepalese Chamber of Commerce FNCCI, will tell you all about their experiences in social dialogue. In Peru the employers’ organisation SNI and trade union centre CGTP established a bipartite table, without the government, in addition to the tripartite table. Why did they choose to do so? José Luís Correo Naranjo, Director of SNI, will tell you all about it in this workshop.

3. Inclusive social dialogue: Informal workers claiming recognition and negotiation spaces

With an increasing number of informal workers across the globe (both in formal and informal sectors), making social dialogue inclusive to these workers is crucial for establishing stable peaceful industrial relations.

Researcher Zjos Vlaminck will present her study on informal workers in 8 countries carried out for Mondiaal FNV. Jyoti Macwan, General Secretary of SEWA, India will present the case study of street vendors in India, to show how informal workers have claimed negotiation spaces by matching their organisational strength with windows of political opportunity. Specific attention will be given to the coalitions that informal workers have built, the enabling or obstructing conditions encountered and the roles played by the different social partners (e.g. companies, government departments, politicians). Participants will be asked to reflect on the presented cases from their own knowledge and experience in an interactive session.

4. Respecting trade union rights in global supply chains: practical approaches for business

Respecting freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining remains for most companies one of the most challenging areas in implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Nevertheless, it is critical that companies become more effective – not least because effective implementation of trade union rights is an enabler for many other rights areas. Based on research conducted by Shift and Mondiaal FNV, together we will introduce a new tool to help companies diagnose internal and external challenges; learn about inspiring examples from companies and their stakeholders; and explore together what has worked, what hasn’t, and how to take action that can make an actual difference for workers.

With: David Vermijs, senior advisor at Shift.

5. Social dialogue to shape the future of work

How do we build a future of work that benefits employees, employers and society at large? Issues that we have to deal with include globalisation, demographic change, increasingly rapid technological developments and a gig economy where employment relationships change. However, workers and employers have to face these challenges together and develop inclusive solutions. In this workshop Ellena Ekarahendy, chair of SINDIKASI (Indonesian Media & Creative Workers Union for Democracy), will share examples of how the union aims to protect freelancers in light of the digital economy and increasing flexibilization trends in Indonesia. Anne Marie ‘t Hart, Head Policy at Cultuur Connectie (Dutch culture and arts branch organization), will share insights into the Fair Practice Code that has been developed to strengthen the position of workers in the culture and creative sectors in the Netherlands. During the course of a debate, we will explore together why social dialogue is integral to designing the future of work and we will draw lessons to provide you with concrete ideas to tackle the future challenges that you encounter.

6. Where do we go from here? Social dialogue in the 21st century global garment industry

While the global garment industry employs tens of millions of workers, only a small percentage of workers are covered by effective social dialogue systems – a contributing factor to the chronic labour and human rights violations in the industry. New strategies are necessary to enable social dialogue in the garment industry.

This workshop will outline the work to date in the Social Dialogue in the 21st Century project*, which is designed to identify and document the major barriers to healthy social dialogue in the global garment industry; root causes and possible interventions that can help overcome those barriers; and new interventions that could be more widely applied. The workshop will:

Expert guests:


James Lowell, Cornell University, lead researcher Social Dialogue in the 21st Century Project 

*Social Dialogue in the 21st Century is a collaboration between the Cornell University ILR School New Conversations Project and the Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation.

7. From sourcing dialogue to social dialogue

In this break-out session we will try to give the answers to all these questions. In a case from Bangladesh, Nazma Akter, President of Sommilito Garment Sramik Federation, and Stefan Strandlund, Head of Corporate Affairs, Hop Lun (HK) Ltd., will explain why collective bargaining is beneficial to workers and the company alike. We will jointly discuss how the signatories (business) to the Dutch IRBC Agreement are able to contribute to local-level dialogue and bargaining.

8. Open space: How to promote social dialogue in the supply chain
Experience from the palm oil sector

In this Hackathon sprint session, we will tackle the challenge on how to promote social dialogue in supply chains, based on lessons that can be drawn from the work of two Mondiaal FNV partners from Indonesia, both working in the palm oil sector. OPPUK and Link-AR Borneo have engaged with Wilmar, one of the world’s biggest agribusiness companies, and Unilever on labour concerns. In Sumatra this has led to a social dialogue that resulted in significant improvements in working conditions and one of the highest standard Collective Bargaining Agreements in the sector in Indonesia. In Kalimantan a joint monitoring on Freedom of Association took place.

Unilever has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with IUF and IndustriALL to guarantee trade union rights. Herwin Nasution from OPPUK and Geofani Loly DeMoron from Link-AR Borneo and Marcela Manubens, Global VP for Integrated Social Sustainability at Unilever, will present these examples of engagement and their personal experiences and lessons learned. In the open space methodology, the participants will be divided into sub groups to jointly discuss and come up with answers to burning questions like: what are the indicators for a successful social dialogue? How can the good practices be replicated in other areas and sectors, such as the financial sectors?

9. Social dialogue in the supply chain: shipbreaking India

During this break-out session we will be focusing on one case study: Indian green shipbreaking yards. Green shipbreaking yards are on the rise in India and are showing impressive improvements in the labour conditions of shipbreakers. International pressure and social dialogue for better international regulation is seen as an important game changer in this process. This session, with Mr Dick Brus of the Dutch the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Martin Dorsman, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Association and Mr Casper N. Edmonds, Head of the Extractives, Energy and Manufacturing Unit (E²M) of the ILO, will give answers to the following questions:

10. How do you use SD to combat climate change and ensure decent work? Experiences from Nigeria

In our efforts to combat climate change (Sustainable Development Goal 13), it is inevitable that consensus needs to be built among workers, communities and employers on how decent jobs (SDG 8) should be designed in light of the shift towards a decarbonised economy. In other words, these groups all have to agree on a Just Transition process. Samantha Smith, Director of the Just Transition Centre, will give a brief introduction on the concept of Just Transition and explain why this is a key topic for trade unions. This break-out session also presents experiences from Nigeria – a country highly dependent on oil exports and dealing with poisonous fertilisers in agriculture – where social dialogue is being used to understand what Just Transition means to local communities. Hauwa Mustapha, Head of the Climate Change Desk of the Nigerian Labour Congress, and Godwin Ojo, Programme Director at Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth Nigeria) will discuss the value of cooperation between a labour organisation and environmental NGO in establishing a common framework for a Just Transition. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and to draw lessons for your own current and future efforts to simultaneously ensure decent work and combat climate change.

11. New ways of social dialogue at national level: The Ghana model

Social dialogue has for a long time been a well-established practice in Ghana. Over the years, however, the role of the Tripartite National Committee has been reduced to the determination of the national minimum wage. Government, unions and employers felt there needed to be a place to exchange ideas on the desired social and economic development in Ghana in the post-aid and post-IMF era. How will Ghana be able to achieve inclusive growth, with decent jobs for its population? A Social Partnership Council was created, which has now been officially inaugurated. The Honourable Minister of Employment and Labour Relations of Ghana, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the General Secretary of the Trade Union Federation TUC, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah and the CEO of the Ghana Employers’ Association, Mr. Alex Frimpong will introduce this model. During the session, participants will have the opportunity to contribute and to reflect upon questions like:

12. Negotiating for win-win as an essential tool for social dialogue

Good negotiation skills with the focus on mutual gains (win-win), mutual understanding, building trust and managing dilemmas can be of great help in establishing a sustainable social dialogue, especially in situations where relations are often conflictive.

DECP and Mondiaal FNV offer training to companies as well as trade unions, to improve the quality of their negotiations, with concrete results.

In this break-out session the methodology of the training will be presented and you will have the opportunity to actively practise a small part of the training.

By: Dirk Joosse, together with social partners of Peru. Dirk is special advisor at DECP. After 35 years of working for the AWVN, a Dutch Employers' Organisation in the Netherlands, Joosse has facilitated the social dialogue at local level and has given training courses on social dialogue to trainers, negotiation skills and mediation skills in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda), Asia (Vietnam and Indonesia) and South America (Peru).