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IndustriALL and Daimler sign innovative global agreement

1 September, 2021IndustriALL Global Union has renewed a global agreement on social responsibility and human rights with German auto giant Daimler, promoting universal labour rights and a transnational approach to the representation of employee interests.

The renewed agreement, ‘Principles of Social Responsibility and Human Rights’, was signed by Daimler corporate management, the Daimler World Employee Committee and IndustriALL Global Union on 1 September.

Key aspects of the agreement include:

  • A clear pledge to fully honour the ILO fundamental labour rights including the commitment to  find solutions in countries that have not ratified them.
  • Unambiguous language on the mandatory application of the agreement with strong commitments and binding obligations for management at all levels.
  • Clear commitment on neutrality of the company in the case of union organizing drives.
  • Reference to ILO convention 190 on violence and harassment at work as an integral part of the company’s policy on equal opportunities and non-discrimination.
  • Policies and mechanisms on human rights due diligence along entire supply chains, including strong language on business partners and suppliers to follow the same principles.

Valter Sanches, a former Daimler worker who also served on the World Employee Committee (WEC) and on  Daimler supervisory board, says:

“I am particularly grateful that we have renewed this agreement with improvements, as I participated as WEC member in negotiations of the original GFA, signed in 2002 with the International Metalworkers Federation. Daimler was among the pioneering companies to sign a GFA. The agreement contains a number of innovative points, like on the role and the protection of human rights defenders and whistleblowers, as well as the importance of data protection and the use of artificial intelligence, underlining that the digital world has to remain under human control. It has also a strong language related to business partners and suppliers to follow the same principles.

“The commitment to training and lifelong learning is key to prevent the risk that a significant number of workers are left behind as the automotive industry is going through a profound transformation. The agreement sets a playfield for unions and management to promote a Just Transition to ensure that there is a fair chance for everybody to manage the challenges of today and of tomorrow.”