Fair Working Conditions and Social Partnership in own operations
To meet its corporate diligence under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in 2012 METRO published its own Principles on Fair Working Conditions and Social Partnership. They are based on the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, on the key labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and on the 3 main principles of the Consumer Goods Forum’s Resolution on Forced Labour. Our principles include the topics on freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the ban on forced labour, child labour and discrimination, structured working hours and wages, occupational health and safety management. The objective is to establish and ensure a culture of fair working conditions for the employees, and in doing so, contributing to the growth of the company.
A review and audit process is designed to ensure that the company is not involved in violating human rights, either directly or indirectly. Our objective is to identify any weaknesses and develop prevention- and countermeasures. The focus is on entering into a dialogue with our colleagues and promoting the knowledge sharing in order to learn from one another, not only with regard to working conditions but also in terms of dialogue with employee representatives.
Since financial year 2016/17, extensive reviews on compliance with the METRO principles have been performed on-site in 15 national subsidiaries (Pakistan, Bulgaria, Japan, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, India, Slovakia, Moldova, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Portugal and France). Many areas returned satisfactory results, while others showed potential for improvement, in particular in the area of occupational safety. During Covid-19 pandemic no on-site reviews are carried out, which is why online surveys are being conducted instead. Limited review procedures were carried out at 5 selected METRO companies after the survey to follow up on a deeper level.
To ensure the transnational social involvement of the employees and safeguard their right to collective labour wage agreements and organising in unions, the Euro Forum performs the function of the European works council of METRO. In addition, METRO collaborates with the international union umbrella organisation UNI Global Union.