21 December, 2017More than 60 union and employee representatives from 22 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America have formed a global trade union network at Sanofi, a French-based leading pharmaceutical company, at a meeting on 7 December 2017 in Paris.
The meeting was organized in the premises of Sanofi immediately after the meeting of the European Works Council (EWC). The day before the meeting, global management of Sanofi welcomed the international participants and global head of human resources emphasized how and why worldwide exchanges are important. This was considered as a good signal for future cooperation.
IndustriALL Global and European trade unions cooperated well in the preparation phase of the global meeting and François Perniola, Sanofi coordinator of IndustriAll Europe, underlined the importance of collaboration vis-à-vis multinational companies, such as Sanofi.
IndustriALL Global Union formed a Sanofi regional union network in Asia Pacific in 2014 and the network came together in 2015 and 2016 along with regular exchange of information and experience on Sanofi operations in the region. Atsushi Sawaguri, coordinator of the Asia Pacific network, explained how the network played role in times of difficulties of unions in various locations in Asia Pacific. Being originally from IndustriALL’s Japanese affiliate UA Zensen, Sawaguri referred to the cases in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Likewise, Sanofi Latin America union network was founded by IndustriALL Global Union in 2016. The regional network covers all the unions from the countries where the company has important operations in Latin America. Ademar José Oliveira from CNQ-CUT briefed the global meeting about the labour relations and social dialogue in Brazil and the whole Latin American continent.
European Works Council (EWC) members shared their experience through their regular dialogue with the company management in Europe. Sanofi EWC was created in 2005. It has 40 members representing most countries of the European Union.
The aim of the global meeting was to create a World Works Council, for which a dialogue started with the meeting. The participants shared their experiences in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America with an analysis of Sanofi’s current state of affairs in economics and labour relations. ‘Union cooperation in pharmaceutical industry and Sanofi worldwide’ was one of the main topics discussed and a framework of the opening negotiation towards a world works council was debated and agreed. A way forward was also agreed on how to strengthen the global network.
The global network will be coordinated by the Secretary of the European Works Council (EWC) with the assistance of the regional network coordinators from Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Aline Eysseric, newly elected secretary of the European Works Council said,
“A great moment in building our global network, which I am particularly proud to have played a role! A great moment for the participants of this meeting, Europeans, Asians and Latin Americans, and through them for all Sanofi employees! Now it's up to us to extend it.”
IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan said,
“With our global union network, we want to open a new phase in labour relations and social dialogue in all the operations of Sanofi throughout the world. The signal we receive from the company management is promising. Together with our global network, I am sure, we will make important advancements in working conditions of Sanofi employees.”
Sanofi is a pharmaceutical company present in about 100 countries, with more than 100,000 employees.