Chartеr on ethical standards of the social partners in the brewery industry signed
In July 2005 the social partners in the brewery industry signed a Charter on ethical standards of the social partners aiming at encouraging constructive social dialogue and jointly promoting the core ILO conventions, EU directives and national legislation on workers’ labour rights. The Charter is seen as a follow up to successful concluding of the branch collective agreement at the end of 2004 and as an important step towards the introduction of corporate social responsibility in this sector.
In July 2005 the relevant industry affiliates of the nationally representative confederations BG0307204F the Trade Union of Brewers at Confederation of Independent Trade unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and the Federation of Food at the Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (CL Podkrepa) and the Employers Union of Brewers negotiated and signed Chartеr on ethical standards of the social partners. In the brewery industry there are 11 enterprises employing 2,730 workers, including six divisions of the multinational companies Carlsberg, Heineken and Interbrui. In all 11 enterprises there are trade union organizations. At branch level there is a Council for social partnership and in the enterprises there is Commission/Council for social partnership. The Charter aims at encouraging constructive social dialogue and jointly promoting the core International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, EU directives and national legislation on workers’ labour rights.
The main principles underlined in the Charter are as follows:
Consideration of the need to carry out policy of equal opportunities and ensure employment without any discrimination by gender, race, age, political views, national and social origin in the brewery industry;
- Recognition of the responsibility of the social partners for the workers as regards working and living conditions;
- Consideration of the legitimate rights of workers at the workplace, especially in regard to the working conditions and social security rights;
- Recognition of the legitimacy and the right of each party to the industrial relations to participate in the social dialogue with the respective rights and obligations provided for in country’s legislation, EU directives, collective agreements and other provisions agreed between partners;
- Recognition that joint efforts are needed to inform and consult the employed in the brewery industry in order to harmonise relations and support the practice of good industrial relations, based on confidence, honesty and mutual respect between employers and workers and to create human and social value added of all company activities.
The parties to the Charter committed themselves to:
- Observe all legislative acts of Republic of Bulgaria concerning labour relations, the EU Social Charter (revised), the Green Paper on corporate social responsibility, the ratified ILO Conventions and Recommendations as well as the branch collective agreements and collective agreements in the individual enterprises.
- Carry out constructive dialogue considering the interests of both parties aiming to develop European industrial relations and to cooperate in the name of the prosperity of the company and its employees.
- Establish in compliance with the Labour Disputes Resolution Act a Commission for mediation and voluntary arbitrage to deal with the labour conflicts between representatives of employees and employers as an out of court institution for the resolution of conflicts and violated trade union rights as well as for monitoring of the collective agreements implementation.
- Work for the introduction of the European framework for corporate social responsibility in the brewery companies.
The employer will secure decent living standards of the workers and their families in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO Tripartite Declaration. The right of workers to receive equal pay for work of equal value is recognised. When decisions on important for the companies and workers issues are to be taken the employer should inform and consult the trade unions. In conformity with the existing legislative framework in the country the employer should not undertake unlawful acts against trade union members on grounds of their status and activities in the company.
The parties agreed to:
- Invest in human resources securing in the framework of bilateral agreements and collective bargaining equal conditions for employment and promotion of personnel development, and to ensure equal access to all forms of vocational education at all levels, which in turn will impact the competitiveness of the brewery companies.
- Pay special attention to the health and safety in the brewery companies striving to introduce stable measures, global standards and exchange of best practices in view of environment protection and assurance of good working conditions without any risk for the workers health. Preventive measures to health and safety at work will be taken as a priority.
- Work for the establishment of company culture respecting the interests of each party, creating loyalty and identification with the company, efforts for introducing the best practices and standards as well as promoting initiative in establishing company’s values.
- Carry out periodical social audit of the implementation of the Charter. The Branch council for social partnership would have the leading role in this process. The results will be assessed and reported in the framework of the social dialogue.
The social partners committed themselves to implement and disseminate the Charter in the brewery industry thus gaining important experience in building the bases of corporate social responsibility and increasing the cooperation in promotion of workers‘ labour and trade union rights.
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