Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining7 min
As a member of the UN Global Compact, dormakaba respects the right of all workers to form and join a trade union without fear of intimidation or reprisal, in accordance with national laws.
Why it matters
The right of employees to form or join trade unions and employee representative organizations of their own choice fosters our constructive dialogue culture at all our locations. For dormakaba, this also facilitates structured communication with our employees on fair working conditions, reducing turnover and achieving high performance and engagement amongst members of our workforce. Our aim is to ensure that employees feel comfortable in communicating openly with their leaders and managers.
As a member of the UN Global Compact, dormakaba respects the right of all workers to form and join a trade union without fear of intimidation or reprisal, in accordance with national laws. Furthermore, our employees are free to collectively bargain, if they so desire.
We work proactively with employee representative bodies to achieve positive results for both employees and the company. Collective bargaining agreements are in effect in various locations including Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA. In Poland, alternative employee representation is in place which is also based on a transparent election process. However, the committee serves in a more consultative capacity.
To guarantee the right of all workers to form and join a trade union and to bargain collectively, dormakaba focuses on two areas:
- Identifying risks, fostering openness and transparency
- Negotiating for mutual benefit and performance gains
Identifying risks, fostering openness and transparency
In the financial year 2017/18, we conducted a comprehensive impact assessment along our value chain (see Outro) to identify which sustainability topics were most relevant in which geographical areas and steps along the value chain. The sustainability impact assessment revealed that some countries like China, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and the USA present a higher risk when it comes to respecting the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining. Hence, dormakaba explicitly fosters and ensures that employees can engage in unions and works councils in all our operating regions and business segments.
Specifically, our actions in the financial year 2019/20 included:
- AS APAC facility in Suzhou (China) has a trade union that supports many employee initiatives and activities. Employees may engage in different committees such as the Employee Welfare Committee and the Employee Food Committee. Regular meetings were held with the trade union to countercheck and decide on proposals to the welfare plan. Members regularly audit the food service at the manufacturing facility for hygienic preparation and nutritional content.
- AS APAC subsidiary in Taiwan continues to explicitly forbid: (1) threatening, disciplining, punishing, or firing workers because they exercise this right; (2) refusing to hire a candidate because of their association with trade unions; and (3) blacklisting of union organizers by providing their names and details of their activities to other employers, or to employers’ associations.
- AS AMER has continued the wind-down of the Steeleville (USA) manufacturing facility, working closely with the union throughout the process. We have been able to partner on several topics including negotiating their attendance bonus payout, training and knowledge transfer to other locations, and the timing of the final closure.
- Key & Walls Solutions held regular, collaborative meetings with the workers council to align company plans such as granting worktime flexibility and conflict prevention, also in conjunction with measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Negotiating for mutual benefit and performance gains
dormakaba regularly engages in negotiations of provisions in collective bargaining agreements. These collective bargaining agreements allow dormakaba to improve its business practices but also to offer improved employment provisions for staff. For this reason, some local entities put works councils in place to ensure the representation of all employees.
Examples of our collective bargaining agreements in the financial year 2019/20 included:
- In Brazil, AS AMER negotiated on the company’s targets in the collective bargaining agreement that cover topics such as profitability, quality and efficiency. These targets are then used to determine the variable part of the compensation under a profit-sharing program. In Germany, bargaining negotiations were conducted or are still in process for the sites in Villingen-Schwenningen, Dreieich and Bühl. Various agreements on technical improvements and process standardizations were concluded or implemented. One highlight is the provision for families, with either small children or with care cases, and for employees working shifts to convert an unconditional one-off payment granted to all employees into additional days off.
- AS DACH concluded negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement with the trade union in Dreieich (Germany). With this completed, all employees in Germany are covered under different collective bargaining agreements but with uniform tariff standards. In Germany, an enterprise agreement was concluded that regulates the framework conditions for mobile work, including working in the home office. During the Covid-19 pandemic, a solidarity collective bargaining agreement was reached with the trade unions to allow for mitigation measures. This included one-off tariff payments which could be converted to days off toward dependent care or short-time work agreements.
- In Austria, dormakaba is member of Metaltechnology Austria, which is the national representation of all enterprises active in mechanical and plant engineering, steel construction and metal ware production. Metaltechnology Austria has concluded a collective bargaining agreement with the trade unions which includes a mandatory minimum remuneration scheme for all employees working in the respective industry.
- AS EMEA negotiated an additional five working days of annual leave above statutory minimum in South Africa for the Bargaining Council (MEIBC) employees after completion of five years of service.
- Key & Wall Solutions reached various agreements with trade unions in Italy regarding overtime, the use of accrued holiday on a rotational basis, additional leave for dependent care and social safety nets to mitigate impacts of the pandemic. A new general collective bargaining agreement was also concluded for Germany.
In the financial year 2019/20, 64% of our employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements. This underscores the importance we place on fostering openness and transparency with trade unions and works councils to negotiate for mutual benefit and improved employment provisions. Our most significant achievement last year in securing and improving core labor rights for employees is demonstrated in the examples above – specifically in Brazil, China, Italy, Germany, South Africa and the USA. However, our biggest challenge remains in respecting the right to collectively bargain in countries where this is factually or legally impeded.
In the financial year 2020/21, AS DACH will work to further harmonize the different works council agreements in Germany, in order to offer equal benefits and job conditions for employees in the country. The same applies to those in Austria. Planned negotiations with the trade union in Suzhou (China) will focus on non-remuneration topics like work-life balance, employee events, and personal health.