Call for tender for subcontracting work (123Kb) - ETUC

Call for tender for subcontracting work (123Kb) - ETUC

I. Purpose of the tender

ETUC – EUROPEAN TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION – Bd du Roi Albert II, 5 – 1210 Bruxelles

Sustainlabour -

Tender specifications

N° 200813

Sustain Sustainlabour

Sustain labour

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

1. Background

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



√ √


√ √





√ √


√ √ √

ENI √ √ √


√ √



√ √



International Federation of Building and Wood Workers (BWI)


Company Environment Chemicals SD OHS

√ √ √ √

1 Schömann, I. and al., 2008, op. cit.





√ √







International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF)



Environment Chemicals SD OHS






√ √



√ √


√ √




√ √



√ √





√ √


Int. Fed. of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco & Allied

Workers' (IUF)

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

solution approaches.

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,

training, etc;

• 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

developing country);

• 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

sustainable development.

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

IFA companies

- non-governmental organisations active in Corporate social responsibility

- European and international experts from the European institutions and

research institutes.

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

and Sustainlabour.

- at international level, through the network of the SustainLabour foundation and

through the network of the International Trade union confederation,



Meetings of the



Desk research

for global


Production of



Interviews and





Analyses of



ons and

Summary for




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

sustainable development;

• 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

the recommendations.

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

social partners,

Sound expertise is required on the following issues:

• Expert knowledge of social dialogue at international level and sustainable

development issues,

• 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

international level,

• 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.


VI. Price

The total maximum budget available for expertise is as follows:

Tasks €

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

Total 34,000

For more precise information on the approximate timing of the above events, please see the

indicative calendar of activities in chapter 2.

VII. Payments

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

of interest.

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.

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.


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