Extended international framework agreement at PSA Peugeot Citroën

During summer 2010, an international framework agreement was renewed by the International Metalworkers’ Federation, the European Metalworkers’ Federation and PSA Peugeot Citroën. The new agreement strengthens PSA Peugeot Citroën’s commitments to international core labour standards and asks business partners to follow suit. It also establishes a World Works Council and gives unions a role in implementing environmental protection and sustainable development objectives.

The PSA Peugeot Citroën Group has 190,000 employees worldwide, including 104,500 in France and 61,200 in Europe. It operates in 160 countries, generating one third of its sales outside Europe. The group owns two major subsidiaries: Faurecia (52,715 employees) and Gefco (9,620 employees).

On 20 May 2010, the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) and PSA Peugeot Citroën signed a new international framework agreement, replacing an existing agreement that dates from 2006.

Social commitments

The agreement contains a section on the responsible management of employment and skills, covering diversity, equal opportunities, skills and professional development. It also deals with forward-planning for changes to professions and jobs to predict the skills the company will need and to give employees an opportunity to anticipate skill demands.

Sections on creating attractive employment conditions cover remuneration and social protection, working time organisation and health and safety. In particular, the company states that the only acceptable target is an accident-free workplace and that policies must be implemented through an occupational safety management system.

The agreement also contains a commitment to the principle of equal pay, in particular between men and women, for work of equal value and comparable effort or responsibility.

Another section of the agreement focuses on engaging with trade unions on a range of employment issues, such as training, professional development and safety in the workplace.

Environmental protection commitments

In the agreement, the group undertakes to respect statutory international, European and national obligations applicable to the environmental protection field ‘with a permanent concern for improving safety, the protection of health and the environment, the preservation of natural resources and the minimisation of impacts on the environment of the group’s activities’. It undertakes to use natural and energy resources responsibly and to contribute to combating climate change. To do this, the group will identify direct and indirect sources of greenhouse gas emissions, measure them, and implement measures for gradually reducing them.

The group states that it will make ‘efforts to develop products which are increasingly respectful of the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions and pollutants and the use of natural resources’ and that it will reduce the impact of its manufacturing methods on the environment as much as possible.

Environmental management

The agreement summarises PSA’s environmental practice, stating that it has, since 2007, implemented an environmental management system (EMS) based on the ISO 14001 standard in various production sites. This management system ‘involves and mobilises the whole management and trains the employees concerned using appropriate means’.

Furthermore, the group states that, in all of its sites, it ‘takes care to develop its employees’ awareness and skills in respect of environmental challenges’. PSA tries to encourage its employees to adopt a greener approach to issues such as professional travel and commuting, and also undertakes to promote initiatives for environmental protection with its customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Role of employee representatives

PSA undertakes to ensure that each subsidiary makes trade unions and employee representatives aware of its actions, good practice and results in the environmental field. The group’s European Works Council will, for the purposes of monitoring this agreement at group level, constitute itself as a World Works Council. The company also makes a commitment to present an overall review to the World Works Council, stating: ‘Given the importance to wider society of these issues, the actions and good practices in this area will be presented annually to trade union organisations at group level and at group sites.’

Commentary

This agreement is innovative because it is one of the first international framework agreements involving unions and employee representatives in environmental affairs. Bart Samyn, Deputy General Secretary of EMF, stresses that this new agreement ‘introduces new and significant challenges, notably concerning the environment’. Denis Martin, PSA Director of Human Resources, stated that the new agreement ‘is a significant step in the implementation of the group’s social responsibility policy’.

From the unions’ point of view, they will now be engaged not only in social and economic matters but also in environmental issues. Patrick Corréa, Head of International Matters at the Metalworkers’ Union affiliated to the French Christian Workers’ Confederation (CFTC Métallurgie) said: ‘Union representatives will have to adapt their way of thinking to take into account ecological and environmental impacts and consider necessary adjustments in employment.’

Frédéric Turlan, HERA

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