I. Purpose of the tender
ETUC – EUROPEAN TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION – Bd du Roi Albert II, 5 – 1210 Bruxelles
Fundación Laboral Internacional
para el Desarrollo Sostenible
Date of publication
on the ETUC website:
01 / 12 / 2008
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the International Labour Foundation
for Sustainable Development (Sustainlabour) intend to carry out a study-research and a
conference to examine how the International framework agreements that are negotiated
between multinational companies and global union federations (GUF) could advance the EU
commitments on sustainable development, with a special focus on environmental protection,
and health and safety issues.
The current call for tender constitutes the subcontracting work needed to complete the
study-research phase of this 12-month project.
ETUC and Sustainlabour have responded to a call for proposal to the European Commission
(Budget Line 04/03/03/01) to obtain the necessary funding in order to be able to carry out
these actions (decision expected in October / November 2008). In the framework of this call,
they expressed their intention to select a subcontractor.
These tender specifications therefore detail the background, tasks, price, and selection
criteria and procedures regarding the subcontractor.
In order to ensure a large visibility to this tender, the ETUC, the project promoter, and
Sustainlabour, the project partner, will publish the tender specifications on their respective
websites and keep the tender online for 55 days.
II. Project description
The potential of social dialogue between employers and employees organisations to advance
sustainable development is acknowledged by the renewed EU strategy for sustainable
development adopted in June 2006 by the European Council, which sets as a policy guiding
principle the need “to enhance the social dialogue, corporate social responsibility and
private-public partnership to foster cooperation and common responsibilities to achieve
sustainable consumption and production”.
Whereas the contribution of international framework agreements to decent work and
international labour standards has been already studied and documented 1 , there is no
research on the potential of IFA to promote other fields of sustainable development, namely
occupational and public health and environment protection.
2. Objective and methodology of the project
The main purpose of this project is therefore to assess the potential of the International
framework agreements negotiated between Europe-based Multinational companies and
global sectoral trade union federations to provide a European response to globalization
based on sustainability and social dialogue.
The issues that will be discussed in the project include:
• the contribution of existing IFAs (cf. table below) to improving the sustainability practice
of multinational companies, i.e their capacity to achieve a balance between economic,
social and environmental goals.
• the potential of IFA as a tool for promoting sustainable development objectives through
international social dialogue, paying particular attention to occupational health and the
• the side-effects of the agreements, for instance, a better integration of sustainable
development practices into union policies
Table 1: IFAs by type of provision : Environment, Chemicals, SD (sustainable development),
OHS (occupational health and safety)
(this is only an indicative list, to be updated)
Int. Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Union
Company Environment Chemicals SD OHS
AKTIEBOGALET √ √
√ √ √
ENI √ √ √
International Federation of Building and Wood Workers (BWI)
Company Environment Chemicals SD OHS
√ √ √ √
1 Schömann, I. and al., 2008, op. cit.
VEIDEKKE √ √ √
LAFARGE GROUP √
ROYAL BAM GROUP √ √ √
International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF)
Environment Chemicals SD OHS
UNICORE √ √ √
CITROEN √ √
Int. Fed. of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco & Allied
Company Environment Chemicals SD OHS
Union Network International
Environment Chemicals SD OHS
3. Work programme
The following tasks will be performed
Management of the project and establishment of a project Steering Committee.
ETUC will have the overall lead and management of the project. ETUC with its multilingual
secretariat will be in charge for the close cooperation between the European and global
trade union federations and the Sustainlabour foundation, the partner in charge of the
A steering committee of the project will be established. This committee will bring together
13 representatives from ETUC (2 persons), Sustainlabour (1 person), the subcontractor (2
persons), the European trade union research institute (1 person), the global union
federations ICEM and IMF (2 persons), the European trade union federations EMCEF, FEM,
UNI-Europa, EFFAT, EFBWW (5 persons). The steering committee will guarantee:
• appropriateness of objectives, preliminary and final findings and results
• appropriateness of tools (such as the suitability of the questionnaire)
• adequate dissemination of results (through their organizations and networks)
• effectiveness of recommendations
There will be a number of at least 2 meetings of the steering committee, one kick-off
meeting right after the start of the project and one meeting towards the end of the project
in order to agree on the final results of the project. Intermediate status reports will be
presented for each Steering committee’s meeting.
During the whole project period a permanent contact between the project partners will be
maintained by phone, e-mail and fax. A frequent exchange of the state-of-advancement of
project work and preliminary results will ensure that the project will run on time. The
exchange of information also serves to discuss problem areas and to commonly identify
Compilation and quantitative analysis of Sustainable Development provisions in
all International Framework Agreements
The aim is to analyse the content and scope of application of the existing International
framework agreements (IFAs) from a sustainable development angle, and to compare the
sustainable development issues covered by the IFAs. This content analysis is necessary to
identify the potential added value of these texts for the companies and their employees, and
then to compare it to their concrete outcomes.
The methodological approach that will be applied include an analysis of the relevant
academic literature on IFAs and a quantitative analysis of the complete sample of all existing
IFAs. This analysis will provide an insight into the sustainable development provisions of
these texts, their scope, dissemination and monitoring procedures, and the provisions to
deal with violations and dispute resolution mechanism.
Besides a review of the existing academic literature on IFAs, at least 54 documents will be
evaluated in the context of this research, corresponding to the 54 IFAs existing to date.
The text analysis of documents will be based on an evaluation grid that will focus on the
aspects which will be regarded as significant for an analysis of the sustainable development
impact of IFAs, notably :
• references to international agreements and principles related to health and
environment protection (Multilateral Environmental Agreements, ILO
conventions, ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at
Work, OECD Guidelines, etc),
• content, including health and safety issues and environmental concerns,
• scope of application, i.e. definition of the group, application to suppliers,
• dissemination provisions, such as translation, training and local social
• monitoring regulations;
• provisions regarding enforcement and sanctions;
• duration and revision rules.
Analysis of a sample group
A sample of 14 IFA will be selected by the steering committee for analysis. This sample will
be determined with criteria such as economic sector of the company, country of origin,
world-presence, date of IFA signature, etc.). They will be studied through semi-structured
interviews based on written list of questions and topics (“the questionnaire”).
For 10 IFA, a light study will be carried-out, with interviews focusing on the following
• Group of enterprise- based respondents (Management and workers
representatives both based in the headquarters and in a subsidiary in a
• Group of sectoral and external respondents (from sectoral employers’
federations and trade unions organizations of European and Global level,
and some concerned NGOs).
This phase will include 3 interviews for each IFA. The task of conducting the interviews and
analysing the information provided by the interviews will be performed by Sustainlabour.
In addition, 4 IFA will be studied in depth, which means that, in addition to the abovementioned
interviews, other actors will be consulted.
Key operational people to be interviewed for analysing these IFA include:
• IFA signatory trade unionists (i.e. in the company, in the international and
European Trade Union federations and workers representatives in a
subsidiary in a developing country) and non-signatory trade unionists
• European Workers Council’s secretariat (which is frequently mobilised in
the European side of IFA implementation)
• MNC’s Sustainable Development manager or Human resources manager.
• IFA contact point in key NGO for health and safety or environmental issues
• MNC’s CEO.
• Experts making research in specific IFA.
This phase will include at least 6 interviews for each IFA. Some of these interviews could be
grouped interviews, when possible. The task of conducting the interviews of the in-depth
study and analysing the information provided by these interviews will be performed by a
Out of the 54 interviews to be carried out in total, 47 interviews will be carried out through
physical meetings and around 7 interviews will be conducted by phone for practical reasons,
notably for respondents in countries outside the European Union
Analysis of the results, drafting of the report recommendations drafting of final
report, Publication of results, and summary for decision makers
On the basis of the document analysis and the analysis of the sample group, a synthesis
report will be drafted jointly by Sustainlabour and the contractor. The report will highlight
the sustainable development characteristics shared by all IFAs, identify best practices,
include a detailed description of the 4 in-depth case studies, and incorporate
recommendations to the social partners for scaling up the capacity of IFAs to promote
A draft of the report will be submitted to the steering committee members for review and
finalisation in advance of the final conference. The final report will have no more than 120
pages and will be translated so that it will be available in 3 languages: English, Spanish and
French. 500 copies of the report will be published in the three languages.
A summary of the study’s conclusions and recommendations, of around 16 pages, will be
drafted and translated in 6 European languages. 500 copies of the summary report will be
Presentation of results and dissemination
The study’s results, best practices and conclusions will be shared through a two-day
international conference with speakers from :
- IFA signatories parties : representatives of European and global employers
and union federations
- 3 Trade union representatives from developing countries hosting suppliers of
- non-governmental organisations active in Corporate social responsibility
- European and international experts from the European institutions and
The conference will be public and will bring together a minimum of 52 European
participants. Interpretation will be provided in 6 languages: English, French, German,
Italian, Polish and Spanish.
Beyond the conference, dissemination of the project’s results will be ensured :
- in Europe via the network of ETUC’s affiliated organisations (81 national trade union
organisations in 35 countries), and the meetings of the ETUC’s working group on
sustainable development, as well as the training activities carried out by the ETUC
- at international level, through the network of the SustainLabour foundation and
through the network of the International Trade union confederation,
Meetings of the
of results -
Calendar of the activities
III. Tasks to be performed by the subcontractor
3. 1 Description of the tasks to be performed by the subcontracter
The subcontractor should provide the following services for the applicant organisations:
• to provide expertise, with the help of sustainlabour and ETUC, on the issues of social
dialogue at international level and sustainable development, including health and
environmental protection issues;
• to work jointly with the project manager in Sustainlabour on the methodology to both
carry out the interviews (selection of sample group, questionnaire, etc…) and draft the
4 IFA case study’s reports and the full study’s report;
• to carry out at least 4 in depth case-study analysis of IFAs, by conducting at least 6
interviews for each IFA with the respondents identified in the §II 3 above;
• to analyse the results of the IFA case studies and provide recommendations for the
trade union organisations and social partners to enhance the contribution of IFA to
• to draft the part of the study’s report that will be dedicated to a) the detailed
description and analysis of the 4 in-depth case studies and b) the recommendations to
the social partners for scaling up the capacity of IFAs to promote sustainable
• to participate in the steering committee meetings with 2 experts, to ensure that the
final study report reflects the outcomes of the discussions in these meetings;
• to draft the study’s summary for social partners and decision makers, of about 16
pages, synthesising the results of the study, ensuring bipartism in the process;
• to submit the draft study’s report to the members of the steering committee for
review and finalisation in advance of the Final Conference;
• to participate in the two-day final conference and present the case studies’ results and
3.2 Expected outcomes
The tasks carried out by the subcontractor should result in:
- a questionnaire to be used as a guideline for the interviews
- the parts of the full study’s report that deal with a) the qualitative analysis of 4 IFAs case
studies that have provisions on health and environmental protection, assessing the
motivations and interest of both parties, the concrete changes these tools have, or have not,
introduced in the companies studied, allowing identification of best practices and
benchmarking of results, b) an analysis of the potential for enhancing IFA’s contribution to
sustainable development, focusing particularly on health and environment protection, as well
as recommendations for social partners and decision makers.
IV. Expertise and experience required
Sound experience is required in the following areas:
• Formulating and carrying out a tailored methodology in order to run interviews with
Sound expertise is required on the following issues:
• Expert knowledge of social dialogue at international level and sustainable
• Ability to identify and integrate analyses of the actual problems in the environment
and health fields currently faced by trade unions’ organisations both at European and
• Excellent knowledge of English and French,
• Ability to work effectively and productively within a team.
V. Time schedule
The subcontractor will be asked to work from 15/11/2008 to 14/11/2009.
The calendar of activities is available in chapter 2. The precise dates of submission of the
documents will be decided by the steering committee.
The total maximum budget available for expertise is as follows:
24 in depth-interviews, 500€ x 24X 2,5 days 30,000
preparation, analysis and drafting
of the report
Participation steering committee 500€ x 2 days x 2 experts 2,000
Participation to the conference 500€ X 2 days X 2 experts 2,000
For more precise information on the approximate timing of the above events, please see the
indicative calendar of activities in chapter 2.
The subcontractor will receive:
• a first payment on signature of the contract, of 30% of the total;
• the final payment, on presentation of the overall invoice.
VIII. Selection criteria
The contract will be awarded to the tender offering the best value for money, taking into
account the specific object, requirements and selection criteria of the tender. The principles
of transparency and equal treatment will be respected with a view to avoiding any conflicts
The offers will be examined against the following criteria:
• Evidence of extensive experience in running such surveys on both the theme of social
dialogue and sustainable development;
• Expert knowledge of social dialogue and industrial relations systems at international
level and sustainable development issues,
• Proven track record of ensuring the quality of written materials prepared, both in
terms of content and format (i.e. deliver publishable documents),
• Ability to work and draft documents in English and French,
• Ability to work effectively and productively within a team
• Respect of the budgetary and time constraints.
X. Content and selection of the bids
Offers, drafted either in English or French, must include:
1. An official letter
2. A detailed CV
3. A budget in euro in accordance with the Commission’s rules
4. The bidder’s offer explaining how the tender’s objectives will be met, the
detailed description of the methodology and implementation of the activities;
5. Information on the bidder’s experience
Offers must be received within 34 days of the date of publication of this call for tender on
the ETUC and sustainlabour websites.
Offers must be sent to ETUC, Michel Mortelette.
International Trade Union House
Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 5
B – 1210 Brussels
For requests sent by registered mail, the postmark will serve as proof of the date of dispatch.