11 August, 2005ICEM News release No. 7/2002
Power multinational Endesa will meet unions from its operations worldwide in a regular global council, under an agreement signed at the company's headquarters in Madrid today.
Global union-management consultations are central to the ICEM's new agreement with Endesa.
Union rights, health and safety, vocational training, labour relations, company prospects and employment trends are the main topics listed for consideration by the new council.
The global agreement was signed by Endesa Chairman Rodolfo Martín Villa and CEO Rafael Miranda Robredo; by Josu Frade, General Secretary of the Spanish industrial workers' union FIA-UGT; by Ignacio Fernández Toxo, General Secretary of the Spanish mining and metallurgy workers' federation FM-CC.OO; and by Fred Higgs, General Secretary of the 20-million-strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM). Both the Spanish unions are ICEM affiliates.
At the signing (l. to r.): FM-CC.OO's General Secretary Ignacio Fernández Toxo; Endesa Corporate Human Resource Manager Germán Medina; the interpreter; ICEM General Secretary Fred Higgs; FIA-UGT General Secretary Josu Frade; Endesa's CEO Rafael Miranda; Chairman Rodolfo Martín Villa; and José Bogas, General Manager of Electricity Business.
The 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). The agreement also includes commitments to "providing the highest possible standards of service" and to "support and maintenance of Endesa's expansion plans to enable its activities and employment to grow".
Endesa employs about 28,000 people worldwide in electricity, gas, mining and a number of other sectors.
The new global council will include one union representative from "every country outside of Spain wherever Endesa has companies that it controls." All unions taking part must be affiliated to the ICEM. In addition, the ICEM gains the right to send a representative to the existing union-management meetings at the Spanish level, whenever these deal with topics that have an international dimension.
Endesa is one of the world's major private electricity groups, with a total installed capacity of 43 000 MW, a distributed capacity of 165 000 GWh and 20 million customers in 12 countries. It also has interests in gas distribution, mining, water treatment, telecommunications and new technologies. It employs about 28,000 people worldwide, of whom approximately 15,000 are in Spain.
Union rights, health and safety, vocational training, labour relations, company prospects, employment trends - all topics for discussion in the new global union-management council.
"This new agreement is a major step forward both for Endesa's workers and for the company," said ICEM General Secretary Fred Higgs in Madrid this afternoon. "It ensures that ICEM-affiliated unions are fully recognised in the company's operations worldwide, and gives them a proper say. At the same time, it gives the company a guarantee of the workforce's commitment to the highest standards of service worldwide and to ENDESA's expansion plans. The linkage to ILO standards is an important yardstick. It also ensures that the agreement is fully compatible with the UN's Global Compact initiative and will hel"We congratulate Endesa and our Spanish affiliates on their far-sightedness," Higgs added. "We already have global agreements with the energy multinational Statoil and the materials multinational Freudenberg, and we are in the process of negotiating a number of other agreements with global companies in our sectors. In their own interests, as well as those of their workers, we urge multinationals in all the ICEM's industries to conclude global agreements with us as soon as possible."