ICEM and IMF renewed their global framework agreement with Umicore, the Brussels-based global materials technology group with some 14,400 employees. First signed in September 2007, the agreement has been the basis for joint union-management activities. Representatives of the company, both global union federations and the European Works Council conducted joint missions in China in 2008, in Brazil in 2009 and in South Africa in 2010 in addition to the regular monitoring activities defined in the agreement.
GLOBAL: The four-year renewal was made through a ceremony held September 6 in the Belgian capital with Umicore's Marc Grynberg, Chief Executive Officer and Ignace de Ruijter, Senior Vice-President Human Resources as well as IMF General Secretary Jyrki Raina and ICEM's Kemal Özkan, Director of Industry and Corporate Affairs on behalf of General Secretary Manfred Warda. The agreement was also re-affirmed by the Belgian trade unions.
The agreement covers six major chapters, namely Human Rights, Working Conditions, Environment, Implementation of Agreement, Monitoring, and Validity of Agreement. Under Human Rights, Umicore pledges to adhere to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, as well as adherence to ILO core labour standards. The latter specifically includes ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association and collective bargaining, and other Conventions regarding child labour, forced labour, and non-discrimination and equal opportunities practices. With the renewal, the parties re-confirmed their political decisiveness over their global level commitments within the framework of the agreement.
"We believe that this agreement offers benefits for all stakeholders. All parties have benefited from the constructive relationship fostered by the original agreement and we look forward to this continuing in the coming years" said IMF General Secretary Jyrki Raina speaking on behalf of both global union federations.
"We are so proud of this international agreement with IMF and ICEM. This gives a big value in our policies towards the issues of sustainable development" said Umicore's CEO Marc Grynberg. "This agreement supports Umicore's global vision on social issues and reflects our diversity and international presence. It will help us in our journey towards sustainability and in being considered a great place to work" said Umicore's Senior Vice-President for Human Resources, Ignace de Ruijter.