What’s at Stake for Business
- Unlike the U.S., labor laws in most other countries are largely based on international labor standards.
- These labor laws have a direct impact on the labor and employment policies within companies.
- Because supply chains are complex, there is a risk of forced labor and human trafficking. Therefore, policy frameworks must help companies mitigate risk while also spurring governments to better enforce their human rights and labor laws.
Who We Are
The Labor and Employment Policy Committee is a leading business voice domestically and internationally on the development and application of labor and employment policies. Leveraging USCIB’s exclusive access to a global business network consisting of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Committee works by consensus to promote the U.S. employers’ views among other national employer federations as well as to governments and trade unions.
The LEPC Committee is composed of government affairs, human resources and labor relations professionals from USCIB member companies representing all major business sectors (ICT, consumer goods, retail, manufacturing, extractives, utilities, entertainment/media and others).
The Labor & Employment Policy Committee pursues a proactive strategy to positively influence international labor standards, increase labor market flexibility and promote business-led solutions to labor market policymaking by:
- Serving as the official S. Employer representative to the International Labor Organization (ILO) where we engage with official representation from governments and labor unions to ensure that U.S. business views are reflected in the development of international labor standards.
- Engaging with the S. Administration and domestic unions to promote free trade agreements with effective and non-protectionist labor provisions based on the effective enforcement of national labor laws and the ILO’s core labor principles.
- Working with BIAC and the IOE to promote U.S. business views at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and in other multilateral organizations on the development and implementation of labor market policies that advance employment, skills development, flexible and inclusive labor markets and women’s economic empowerment, and pragmatically address pressing global issues, including labor migration, the impact of technological innovation, youth employment and disability.
Advocacy Priorities in the U.S. & Globally
International Labor Organization (ILO)
As the U.S. affiliate of the IOE, we have direct representation on the ILO’s Governing Body (where the policy agenda is set) and organize the U.S. Employer delegation to the International Labor Conference and other expert consultations where international labor standards are negotiated in a tripartite setting. We have worked to:
- focus the work with the ILO on helping member states to implement and enforce their national labor laws and to protect fundamental rights at work in their countries.
- coordinate U.S. business financial support for the ILO-IFC Better Work Program and promote the Program as a model to help develop effective national protection and improvement of labor rights.
- Provided leadership in the drafting of the ILO Protocol to the Forced Labor Convention (2014), the Recommendation on the Transition from Informal to Formal Economies (2014) and in preparation for the 2016 International Labor Conference discussion on “decent work in global supply chains” that will set the ILO’s future work in this area of considerable importance to U.S. multinational companies.
Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD)
As the U.S. affiliate of BIAC, we engage with OECD Member States, civil society and trade unions to ensure U.S. business views are represented in the work of the
- OECD Employment, Labor and Social Affairs Committee, regarding labor policies, skills development and the promotion of women’s economic empowerment and social inclusion.
- The responsible business conduct “proactive agenda,” under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, including the development of new practical guidance in the garment/textile and apparel sectors related to supply chain due diligence.
Other Multilateral Organizations:
- G20: USCIB participates regularly in employer consultations with the G20 Labor Ministers organized jointly by IOE and BIAC as well as with the G20 Employment Working Group, advocating for reducing skills mismatches and improving the enabling environments for enterprise growth. USCIB played a key role in creating the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) to address youth unemployment and skills mismatches all over the world.
- International Organization of Migration (IOM) and Global Forum on Migration & Development (FGMD): USICB has been instrumental in addressing the complexity of labor migration, including by helping, through the IOE, to create a Private Sector Interaction Mechanism at the GFMD and in driving the development of a fair recruitment initiative at the IOM – the IRIS program.
USCIB convenes regularly with U.S. Government officials to ensure the U.S. business position gets considered:
- at the Department of Labor, including the President’s Committee on the ILO and the Tripartite Advisory Panel on International Labor Standards (TAPILS), which ensures that all ILO conventions being considered for U.S. ratification conform to U.S. law and practice.
- on the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions in U.S. Free Trade Agreements, which provides business views on trade agreement negotiations related to labor issues.
- in emergent Executive branch and Congressional initiatives focused on eliminating forced labor and human trafficking in global supply chains.
- in the Initiative to Promote Fundamental Labour Rights and Practices in Myanmar, a multi-stakeholder effort led by the United State Trade Representative to upgrade social protection in Myanmar.
- USCIB Corporate Responsibility and Labor & Employment Policy Meetings, May 3 and 4