The three global unions today signed a global framework agreement (GFA) with the renewable materials company Stora Enso at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, in the presence of ILO Director General Guy Ryder. Observer signatures were made by the presidents of the Swedish Paper Workers’ Union, the Swedish Union of Forestry, Wood and Graphical Workers’, and the Finnish Paper Workers’ Union.
In the GFA, Stora Enso commits to working with the three global unions in order to uphold fundamental labour rights throughout its global operation and subsidiaries. The company will strive to implement the principles of the GFA throughout its supply chain.
The GFA specifically focuses on:
Freedom of association
No child labour or forced labour
Work with unions to improve health and safety
IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary, Valter Sanches, stated at the signing:
“I congratulate Stora Enso and welcome our new formal relationship that gives us the means to uphold workers’ rights throughout the company’s global operation. I call upon other pulp and paper manufacturers to follow this example.”
“We strive for a working environment where all our employees are treated with respect and in a fair manner. We are continuously working to make sure that all our units comply with the requirements. By signing the Global Framework agreement, we show our commitment and take the next step in this important area,” said Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström.
There is a dispute resolution mechanism established by the GFA. Under the mechanism, issues will be addressed at the local level, but where necessary will be brought to national and global level and ultimately to mediation.
The GFA formalizes an on-going dialogue between the partners and all signatories will meet every two years to assess the implementation of the GFA.
However, the spirit of the global agreement establishes open dialogue through which the partners will work jointly to pre-emptively solve problems as early as possible.
UNI Global Union General Secretary, Philip Jennings said:
“The agreement is an excellent way to begin the year in which we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Stora Enso is taking a significant step in the right direction for workers' right along their supply chain by signing up to this agreement.
“This agreement is further recognition that workers' rights are human rights. The importance of global framework agreements has not only been acknowledged by companies like Stora Enso, but also by the G20 and international organisations around the world."
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson, stated:
“In signing this agreement, Stora Enso commits to ensure fundamental labour rights for workers in their global operations and subsidiaries. We, now look forward to actively working with Stora Enso to effectively implement this agreement on the ground to improve the lives of workers.”
Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets. Our aim is to replace fossil-based materials by innovating and developing new products and services based on wood and other renewable materials. We employ some 25 000 people in more than 35 countries, and our sales in 2016 were EUR 9.8 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY). storaenso.com
IndustriALL Global Union
IndustriALL Global Union, represents 50 million workers in 140 countries, in manufacturing (including auto), mining and energy sectors. IndustriALL has signed GFAs with 47 major corporations including Ford, Siemens, H&M and Statoil. www.industriall-union.org
At its World Congress in Buenos Aires, on 9 December 2005, the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers (IFBWW) and the World Federation of Building and Wood Workers (WFBW) created a new global union federation, the Building and Wood Workers' International - BWI. The BWI is the Global Union Federation grouping free and democratic unions with members in the Building, Building Materials, Wood, Forestry and Allied sectors. The BWI groups together around 334 trade unions representing around 12 million members in 130 countries. The Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. Regional Offices and Project Offices are located in Panama and Malaysia, South Africa, India, Burkina Faso, Chile, Kenya, Russia, Peru and Brazil. Our mission is to promote the development of trade unions in our sectors throughout the world and to promote and enforce workers’ rights in the context of sustainable development. www.bwint.org
UNI Global Union
UNI Global Union, represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions in the fastest growing sectors in the world – skills and services. A total of 90% of new jobs are expected to be in these sectors in the next decade. UNI and our affiliates in all regions are driven by the responsibility to ensure these jobs are decent and workers’ rights are protected, including the right to join a union and collective bargaining. www.uniglobalunion.org