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Improving social dialogue at TK Elevator

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15 June, 2022Over 60 trade unionists, works councils and shop stewards from TK Elevator’s operations worldwide met online on 9-10 June to discuss social dialogue and the future of social relations in the company.

The delegates represented over 50,000 men and women from 16 countries, covering the major geographical areas where the company operates. Strengthening social dialogue was the and discussions were lively, sometimes passionate, but always to the point.

During the second day of the virtual meeting, company management, represented by Phillip Voet van Vormizeele, member of TKE Group management board and chief human resources officer, participated.

Opening the meeting, IndustriALL Global Union assistant general secretary, Christine Olivier, stated:

“It’s important that we have clear guidelines when we discuss social dialogue. And here you must help us to develop guidelines, taking into account we have different experiences and situations globally.
Your assistance is important, as one of the things we don’t want to do, is to come with ready-made processing, avoiding a top-down approach.

The first day consisted of internal preparation for the workforce delegation, input from Christine Olivier, representatives from the Group Works Council, as well as the international committee. Armelle Seby, IndustriALL gender director, discussed gender-based violence and anti-harassment policies, also related to ILO convention 190.

The second day saw an intense discussion on the company’s future in the market and management views on social dialogue in the countries, regions and worldwide.

Wolfgang Krause, spokesperson of the international committee, said:

"Global social dialogue requires trust and solidarity among all participants and partners. These preconditions are paramount and will be the basis for a future agreement."

The over 60 delegates discussed pathways and what a social dialogue body within TKE could look like.

Susanne Herberger, chairwoman of the group works council, said:

"With this meeting, we got one step further. Our global network has grown bigger and we receive even more information from the countries and can support each other better. From now on, we will work on drafting a joint agreement."

TK Elevator employs more than 50,000 men and women, with major operations in over 50 countries. In late 2020, the company signed a global framework agreement (GFA) with IndustriALL. Now, with support from German FES foundation, IndustriALL and affiliates are creating a global social dialogue body to improve workers’ participation in this group. 

“After our experience with the strong GFA at TK Elevator, we want to take it a step further and add proper instruments for a social dialogue on the global level. We have seen that some issues, in Brazil, France and India for example, require intense discussions beyond a conflict resolution model. We want to develop a progressive and inclusive social dialogue body where workers and their unions can raise issues and enter into proper dialogue with corporate management,”

said IndustriALL director for mechanical engineering, Matthias Hartwich.