24 August, 2005Tokyo, 19-20 April 2001
At its first meeting, the Steering Committee of the ICEM Bridgestone Union Network adopted:
ICEM Bridgestone Union Network Protocol
Unions recognise that to ensure their members are employed by Bridgestone in well-rewarded, interesting and secure employment, the Company needs to be profitable, efficient, competitive and well- managed. To achieve this, Bridgestone and the Trade Unions should work in partnership at local, national and international level. With the appropriate commitment from the Company to such a partnership, the global union network could be a vehicle to achieve these objectives.
Globalisation of the world economy is in progress, oligopoly and globalisation of capital and companies are also progressing in the rubber industry, especially in the tyre sector. In order to cope with the worldwide strategies of multinational companies, the necessity for labour unions to exchange information and cooperate with each other on a global basis is increasing.
Those cooperating through this ICEM network must recognise, and understand, the differing historical and cultural backgrounds of the countries involved.
Due to these national historic and legal framework diversities, industrial relations vary greatly from country to country, such differences must be recognised and respected by all Network participants.
The Network will particularly concern itself with issues of a global nature, for instance ILO Core Labour Standards, Health Safety & Environment and Human Rights etc.
1. Each ICEM Region within which there is a Bridgestone site/sites will nominate one member of the steering committee, except Asia Pacific who will have two, one of which will be from Japan. (Gomurengo, the Japanese Rubber Workers' Union Confederation, have agreed to assume the role of administrators to the Network).
2. The Steering Committee shall meet annually, and the venue should be rotated.
3. Activities of the Network will be decided by consensus of the participants. (No decision of the Network can restrain any member organisation from pursuing any actions agreed under the rules or policy of their own organisation.)
Key topics for the Network
Key topics for the ICEM Bridgestone Union Network will be:
- Health, safety and environment
- The significance of the Bridgestone tyre recall for the future of Bridgestone.
Principles for the operation of the Steering Committee
The following principles are agreed for the efficient operation of this Network:
1. All democratic unions that are or intend to be affiliates of the ICEM and which have members employed at Bridgestone shall be entitled to participate in the Network.
2. The Network will not hold regular plenary meetings. It work will be guided by the Steering Committee. Activities and exchange of information are dealt with by the Steering Co mmittee. A plenary meeting of the Network shall be held, when necessary, after discussion by the Steering Committee.
3. The Steering Committee will consist of one representative each from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and two representatives from Asia-Pacific Region, of which one representative should be from Japan, as well as one ex-officio member from the ICEM Secretariat, a total of seven representatives.
4. Each region shall elect its representative(s) for the Steering Committee and the Chair will be informed of any change of representative(s) by each region.
5. The Steering Committee shall be held annually and the venue shall be rotated. The annual Steering Committee meeting will decide upon the venue for the next meeting.
6. The Steering Committee shall nominate a secretary, who will assist it in its work.
7. When the exchange of information as well as of opinions between the Bridgestone Network and the Management of the Bridgestone Group become possible, the members of the Steering Committee will serve as the representatives of the Network.
8. A maximum of three key topics for the immediate attention of the Network should be agreed by the Steering Committee.
9. When necessary, the Chair of the Network will distribute a newsletter, as an instrument of communication, to the member organisations of the Network.