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IndustriALL and Umicore renew sustainable development agreement

22 October, 2015IndustriALL Global Union has renewed its Global Framework Agreement on Sustainable Development with Umicore, a materials technology and recycling multinational based in Belgium. 

The agreement, which applies to more than 14,000 Umicore employees in 38 countries, covers human rights (including collective bargaining and equal opportunities), safe and healthy working conditions, and environmental considerations.

Umicore's Chief Executive Officer, Marc Grynberg and IndustriALL general secretary, Jyrki Raina signed the agreement in Brussels on 20 October. IndustriALL’s Belgian trade union affiliates were co-signatories.

IndustriALL has carried out numerous missions to monitor Umicore operations since the agreement was first signed by IndustriALL predecessors, IMF and ICEM, in 2007.

Speaking at the signing, Marc Grynberg said:

"This agreement reaffirms our commitment towards sustainability in which the engagement of all Umicore employees is key. Our dialogue with IndustriALL plays an important role in our quest to be a frontrunner in all aspects of sustainability."

Jyrki Raina added:

"IndustriALL Global Union is pleased with our eight-year experience in the context of this global agreement and we look forward to this continuing in the coming years. We find at all the sites of Umicore we visit the same level of commitment to sustainability that we obtain from the company headquarters in Brussels. It is a clear sign for us of the true engagement of all."

Over the past eight years, IndustriALL’s joint monitoring missions with Umicore have included visits to Umicore industrial operations, such as Shanghai (China), Guarulhos (Brazil), Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Tulsa (USA), Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Subic (Philippines).

In February 2015, IndustriALL carried out a joint mission with Umicore to its plant in Subic Bay in the Philippines. The company’s industrial investment in the remote region makes an important contribution to workers’ lives and the whole community. A tour of the plant and meetings with local union representatives confirmed that Umicore was fully meeting the commitments defined in the global agreement to sustainability in the field.

IndustriALL also visited the Philippine capital, Manila, where Umicore has been supporting a project with a Belgian NGO that provides micro-entrepreneurs with much-needed training and funding. The scheme helps people in the Philippines to set up businesses, create local employment and build better lives without depending on foreign aid.