Principle 3: Labour
BUSINESSES SHOULD UPHOLD THE FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND THE EFFECTIVE RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
What can companies do?
In the workplace
- Respect the right of all workers to form and join a trade union of their choice without fear of intimidation or reprisal, in accordance with national law;
- Put in place non-discriminatory policies and procedures with respect to trade union organization, union membership and activity in such areas as applications for employment and decisions on advancement, dismissal or transfer;
- Provide workers’ representatives with appropriate facilities to assist in the development of effective collective agreement; and·
- Do not interfere with the activities of worker representatives while they carry out their functions in ways that are not disruptive to regular company operations. Practices such as allowing the collection of union dues on company premises, posting of trade union notices, distribution of union documents, and provision of office space, have proven to help build good relations between management and workers, provided that they are not used as a way for the company to exercise indirect control.
At the bargaining table
- Recognize representative organizations for the purpose of collective bargaining;
- Use collective bargaining as a constructive forum for addressing working conditions and terms of employment and relations between employers and workers, or their respective organizations;
- Address any problem-solving or other needs of interest to workers and management, including restructuring and training, redundancy procedures, safety and health issues, grievance and dispute settlement procedures, disciplinary rules, and family and community welfare;
- Provide information needed for meaningful bargaining; and
- Balance dealings with the most representative trade union to ensure the viability of smaller organizations to continue to represent their members.
In the community of operation
- Take into account the role and function of the representative national employers’ organizations; and
- Take steps to improve the climate in labour-management relations, especially in those countries without an adequate institutional and legal framework for recognizing trade unions and for collective bargaining
(Source: Principle 3)