Following the declaration by President Emmanuel Macron at the EU Social Summit in November 2017 that France would join the Global Deal initiative, a national platform was established to help reach the objectives of the Global Deal.
The platform is an expression of the government’s belief in promoting social dialogue as a tool to ensure that the benefits of globalisation are shared more broadly. Globalisation brings many opportunities, but also challenges concerning the respect of fundamental labour rights and growing inequalities. Economic and social progress are closely linked, and by balancing the two, it is possible to achieve strong business performance alongside the development of human rights. The platform contributes to the vision of a better-regulated globalisation that benefits everyone.
The French platform
The platform is located within the Ministry of Labour and comprises representatives from social partners. As of December 2020, 27 companies, 5 trade union organisations and 2 local and regional administrations had joined the platform. Together, these companies employ about 2.6 million people.
The platform brings together a community of stakeholders who place their trust in social dialogue as a tool to regulate globalisation. It is designed to:
The members of the platform meet regularly, either in plenary or in smaller working group meetings. Since the start in 2018, they have covered several issues related to international social dialogue, including developing a shared understanding of labour relations by country (US, China and Russia); examining companies’ social policies (Solvay, Société Générale, Vinci and Danone) and social dialogue processes such as European Works Councils.
G7 Social Summit 2019
During the French presidency of the G7, the Minister of Labour invited the platform to provide their input on the issues to be discussed at the G7 Employment and Labour Ministerial Meeting in June 2019. This resulted in a number of recommendations on how to strengthen multilateral cooperation for greater justice; how to promote universal access to social protection in a changing world of work; how to empower individuals for the future of work; and how to ensure gender equality in the world of work. For example, the French Global Deal business partners emphasised the importance of international social dialogue, such as through International Framework Agreements, in order to improve social standards. They also highlighted some of their good business practices for others to learn from. The platform’s contribution to the G7 is available on the Ministry of Labour’s website. 
As a result of this process, the platform has established different working groups to discuss the benefits of Global Framework Agreements, violence and harassment at work, the ratification and implementation of ILO Convention 190, and social protection floors. It has also developed guidelines for its members in the areas of international agreements, social protection, the future of work and gender equality. Documents produced by the platform are mostly shared in a LinkedIn members’ group.
Benefits of the platform
The platform is a unique place for sharing good practices between companies and social partners. Business partners have identified several benefits of participating in the platform to promote sound transnational social dialogue:
- Improving communication with employees on global issues;
- Promoting exchanges and integrating the results into an overall strategy;
- Meeting growing CSR expectations; and
- Preventing and settling disputes through alerts and/or mediation procedures.
For trade unions, the following benefits have been highlighted:
- Having easier access to global strategies and information for the whole group of companies and influencing decisions;
- Creating a framework for joint vigilance that goes beyond the sharing of good practices and steers away from the logic of a race to the bottom; and
- The possibility to provide concerted responses with management in local entities or production sites where there is weak union representation, with the aim of expanding trade union and representation rights.
In 2021, the platform will focus on teleworking/remote working; social protection floors (parenthood and family care); exploring social dialogue models in Germany, Australia and Mexico; developing a global social dialogue index; and contributing to the preparations of the French EU Presidency in 2022 regarding European social dialogue. The platform will also continue to expand its membership.
Global Deal, une initiative en faveur du dialogue social international
Global Deal | 1 an après l’adhésion de la France, les partenaires mobilisés en faveur du dialogue social à l’international
La plateforme française du Global deal pour le dialogue social démontre son dynamisme
Le Global Deal - L’initiative, en bref
Partner Session: International contributions from the Global Deal France platform (oecd-events.org)
Involved Global Deal Partners