This week, the Ford Motor Company signed an international framework agreement with the International Metalworkers’ Federation, which the union says commits the company to “basic human and labor rights not only in their ‘home countries’ but also in all other countries where they are based [and that they] demand their suppliers to follow these principles also.” As pointed out in this week’s BEERG Global Labor Newsletter, several EU-based companies have signed International Framework Agreements (IFAs), which typically commit signatories to neutrality during union organizing efforts. The Ford-IMF agreement is less clear on this, stating that the company “fully supports and respects workers’ democratic right to form a union and will not allow any member of management or agent of the Company to undermine this right or pressure any employee from exercising this right.” One could strongly argue that a company in the U.S. abiding by our labor laws could still engage in efforts to influence its employees without violating this provision. It remains to be seen whether the union would also see it that way. BEERG’s sources within the labor movement indicate that “this as a very significant breakthrough which will enable the global unions to put pressure on other U.S. companies to go down the same road.” Meanwhile, Ford also agreed to a form of a global works council—the "Ford Global Information Sharing Committee," a forum in which workers' representatives and trade unionists from Ford sites worldwide can meet once a year to share information and to discuss mutual support. "This is a significant step forward in international cooperation and mutual support among the workers at Ford plants all over the world" said Bob King, President of UAW.