The purpose of the agreement, which was signed at Hydro's headquarters in Oslo on Tuesday, is to continue to exchange information between Hydro and the unions. This applies to industrial matters and issues that are important for the partners. This is intended to improve and develop good working practices in Hydro's global business.
The basic principles of the agreement include supporting fundamental human rights in society and at work. The partners also recognize the importance of safety, health and wellbeing at work.
Hydro already has a comprehensive social responsibility program that has resulted in a set of guidelines based on the company's global values. By following the principles set out in these guidelines, Hydro wants to improve and develop good work practices.
The new agreement, which will be in addition to the existing programs, was important for the unions.
"We are very pleased that this agreement will allow us to expand the long-term relationship between management and unions to include other parts of global business," said Billy Fredagsvik, who represents the employees at Hydro's Board of Directors.
“This agreement is an important foundation for global social dialogue. This is extremely important for further growth and development in a global company like Hydro, ”says Sten Roar Martinsen, who is also a representative of the employees on the Hydro Board of Directors.
Board member Wenche Agerup, who is responsible for the corporate staff, also welcomes the agreement. “Hydro has had good experiences in the 105 years of its history when it comes to an open dialogue with its employees. The global framework agreement will strengthen the development of relations with unions worldwide.
Applies to all units that Hydro controls directly
The following unions have signed the agreement: Fellesforbundet (Association of United Norwegian Unions) and Industri Energi from Norway as well as IMF (International Metalworkers 'Union) and ICEM (International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Union).
The agreement also takes into account the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, as well as certain ILO Conventions and Recommendations, the UN Global Compact and the UN Human Rights Declaration and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Hydro's own policies also apply, based on the company's commitment to social responsibility.
The agreement applies to all units that Hydro controls directly. Implementation should be in accordance with national laws and practices in the host country where Hydro is located. In those cases where Hydro does not exercise general control, the company will endeavor to ensure standards such as those described in the agreement. The partners agree that certain elements related to US operations have not yet been completed, so a working group will be set up to deal with them.
The agreement is valid for two years and can subsequently be extended.