Member area

Unions call on Ministers to support OECD responsible business standards

13 February 2023

Ahead of the OECD Ministerial meeting on responsible business conduct on 14-15 February, trade unions call on Ministers to empower workers to end poverty pay and unacceptable working conditions.

The Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) encourages governments to back the updates proposed by the OECD to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

TUAC supports OECD changes including

  • reinforce workers’ rights to form and join trade unions without interference
  • ensure companies contribute to a socially just transition to a greener economy and address potential adverse impacts to workers
  • make all companies in the value chain implement responsible business standards
  • enable National Contact Points receiving complaints about violations of OECD responsible business standards to be able to deal with them effectively.

Veronica Nilsson, Acting General Secretary of TUAC, said “The OECD has proposed specific targeted updates to responsible business standards to cover new and future types of work. OECD standards for responsible business need to be much better implemented. The right to form and join a trade union and collectively bargain are basic rights that need to become a reality in all OECD member states and beyond.

“Negotiations between trade unions and business are the only way to achieve fair wages for work, and the only way to a socially fair and just transition to a greener and climate-friendly economy.

“Ministers must back the OECD proposals to update the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, to ensure that businesses act responsibly and implement agreed standards in the workplace.”


For more information see TUAC Briefings #5 and #6.

TUAC Briefing #5 described how low collective bargaining coverage associates with higher share of low wage work.  A closer look at the data revealed  low levels of collective bargaining associates with an even higher share of low wage work for women in nearly all member countries of the OECD.

For more on trade union recommendations to scale up implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises see TUAC Briefing #6 | Implementing OECD Standards for a Responsible Global Economy (in English | French |Spanish).

TUAC represents 58 trade unions representing 60 million workers in OECD countries.