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 countries such as 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, we explicitly foster and ensure that employees can engage in unions and works councils in all our operating regions and business segments.
Specifically, our actions in the financial year 2020/21 included:
- In Australia, AS APAC has reached an agreement with local trade unions to put negotiations on hold due to the pandemic. However, during the pandemic, union representatives were consulted on topics relating to the health and welfare of staff. Discussions revolved around, for example, the wearing of personal protective equipment, and hygiene procedures when on service calls, and leave allowances for at-risk workers.
- 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.
- Key & Walls Solutions held regular, collaborative meetings with the works 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 2020/21:
- During the Covid-19 pandemic, AS AMER partnered with the local iron workers union in Illinois (USA) and gained cooperation for the implementation of enhanced health & safety protocols to secure the continued operations of the site as an “Essential Business Operation”.
- Negotiations to renew a collective bargaining agreement for the service operations in Missouri (USA) have begun and will focus on remuneration.
In the financial year 2020/21, 57% 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. 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 2021/22, AS DACH will continue to work on further harmonizing the different works council agreements in Germany and Austria, in order to offer equal benefits and job conditions for employees in each country.
- In Australia it is expected that negotiations on collective bargaining agreements that have been put on hold due to the pandemic will be finalized. These agreements will include a focus on work-life balance, fatigue management, and thermal comfort.
- Additionally, Key & Wall Solutions will renegotiate a collective bargaining agreement with local trade unions in the USA.