Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining

7 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.

Key activities

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:

  1. Identifying risks, fostering openness and transparency
  2. 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:

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:

Our performance

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.

Outlook

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.

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