The Trade Union Advisory Committee

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The Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD is an interface for trade unions with the OECD. It is an international trade union organisation which has consultative status with the OECD and its various committees.

TUAC’s origins go back to 1948 when it was founded as a trade union advisory committee for the European Recovery Programme – the Marshall Plan. When the OECD was created in its current form in 1962 as an intergovernmental policy making body, TUAC continued its work of representing organised labour’s views to the new organisation. The OECD is now changing again, taking in new members and becoming a leading forum for intergovernmental policy making to manage globalisation. TUAC’s role is to help ensure that global markets are balanced by an effective social dimension. Through regular consultations with various OECD committees, the secretariat, and member governments TUAC coordinates and represents the views of the trade union movement in the industrialized countries. It is also responsible for coordinating the trade union input to the annual G8 economic summits and employment conferences.

TUAC’s affiliates consist of over 58 national trade union centres in the 30 OECD industrialised countries which together represent some 66 million workers. It is they who finance TUAC activities decide priorities and policy and elect the TUAC officers.

Closing Global Governance Gaps

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are recommendations on responsible business conduct that are drawn up and implemented by governments. Most recently updated in 2011, they are comprehensive in scope covering disclosure, human rights, employment and industrial relations, environment, combating bribery, consumer interests, science and technology, competition and taxation. The Guidelines are one of the few international instruments available to help close governance gaps. They apply to all entities of the multinational company (MNC) as well as business partners including suppliers, sub-contractors and franchises.

Governments that have signed the Guidelines are required to set up a National Contact Point (NCP) to promote and implement the Guidelines, including handling cases concerning breaches of the Guidelines by MNCs headquartered in countries that have signed the Guidelines. To date 43 governments have signed the Guidelines and trade unions have submitted 145 cases