UNISON will work with global trade union confederation Public Services International to monitor the progress and build public awareness and support for a Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporations, a draft of which will be negotiated by the United Nations in October.
The UK is currently opposed to this treaty.
Inez Kirk, Aberdeenshire Branch, supporting the motion, explained “Disproportionate numbers of young women around the world are trapped in poorly paid, highly exploitative and insecure export oriented jobs in manufacturing and agribusiness.
“Millions of them are classified as modern slaves.”
“They are producing the goods vital for us to do our jobs as public servants. They make our uniforms, shoes and PPE. They assemble our computers and mobile phones.
And they grow the food that we buy, cook and serve in our school and hospital canteens.”
She said: “Exercising the right to join the trade unions and the right to strike is becoming more challenging each year.
The number of countries in which workers are exposed to threats, kidnappings and physical violence from state security forces and gangs working on behalf of subsidiaries whose parent companies are headquartered in the UK, Europe and the USA increased from 52 countries in 2016 to 59 in 2017.”
She pointed out that when women cannot access justice in the country where the violation occurred, they try to get access to justice in the multinational’s home state, but there is rarely enforceable national legislation to hold them to account.
Inez said: “So the women face impossible legal, and financial barriers to justice. The UN Binding Treaty can change this. It’s a once in a generation opportunity.”