Cornell University

Cornell Global Labor Institute

16 East 34th Street, 4th Floor, 212-340-2840

Draft Conference Agenda

NEW YORK, MAY 15-16, 2008

(Note: the dates are fixed; this agenda is subject to refinement with input from confirmed registrants to make sure that we address their needs and interests)


8:30-9:30 Breakfast

9:30-10:00 Welcome and introductions

10:00-11:00 FOA in codes of conduct: survey and analysis

Review and discuss FOA provisions in key codes of conduct (both codes of seminar participants and codes from other companies or groups not participating)

11:00-11:15 Break

11:15-12:30 Everyone talks about FOA. What is it?

• Review of international standards (ILO Core, ILO Conventions, human rights instruments etc.) regarding association, organizing, bargaining, and strikes)

• Varying models of national legal frameworks on FOA (majority and minority unionism, exclusive and multiple representation, centralized and decentralized bargaining systems, limits on right to strike and to take secondary action, etc., and the variation across national contexts in each of these dimensions)

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 The FOA Challenge: What conduct comports with FOA requirements?

• Review and discuss the matrix/spectrum ranging from employer opposition (unlawful and lawful), neutrality (active and passive), support (active and passive) and active promotion of employee organizing, with focus on concrete examples.

• Review efforts at setting up worker committees and training trade union leaders – what is the proper role of unions, NGOs, companies, consultants, etc., and how have such efforts played out in practice?

3:00-3:15 Break


3:15-4:30: Small Group Work (case studies provided)

4:30-5:30 Small Group Report-backs

6:00-7:30 Drinks and snacks at nearby establishment (not dinner).


8:15-9:00 Breakfast

9:00-11:15 Key Country Focus

Mexico/Central America
Selected E. Europe country

(Cornell faculty and guest faculty)

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-12:30 Open Forum

Participants present and discuss their cases, questions, and viewpoints

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 Getting Concrete on the Monitoring/Auditing Process

• Minimum requirements for FOA monitoring/auditing

• Beyond minimum: What auditing techniques are most effective?

• Is a 1-day audit adequate for assessing FOA compliance?

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-4:00: The Antitrust Challenge: Can FOA be insulated from antitrust concerns?

4:00-5:00: Concluding discussion: how can practitioners and academics find new ways to collaborate?