The key theme underlining the agreement is the "development and sustainability of the gold mining industry worldwide" and in upholding and implementing "good human resources and industrial relations practices". The promotion and respect for human and trade union rights, health and safety, environmental protection and the promotion of good relationships with local mine communities are pivotal to the agreement.
The agreement was signed by AngloGold CEO, Bobby Godsell, Fred Higgs, ex-General Secretary of the ICEM) and Senzeni Zokwana, President of IndustriALL’s South African-based affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which facilitated the negotiations leading to agreement.
Human and trade union rights, safety and training provisions of the new global agreement are specifically linked to the international standards set by the Conventions of the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO). It also ensures that the agreement is fully compatible with the UN's Global Compact initiative and will help to give further substance to the agreement.
AngloGold has mining operations in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mali, Namibia, Tanzania, USA, Zimbabwe and of course South Africa. "It ensures that ICEM-affiliated unions are fully recognised in the company's operations worldwide, and gives them a proper say implementing industrial relations best practice.