IUF General Secretary Sue Longley, IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Valter Sanches and Unilever CEO Paul Polman signed a joint memorandum on union rights and recognition with global consumer goods maker Unilever on October 31 at the regular bi-annual meetings with the company which have taken place since 2010. The Memorandum of Understanding formalizes the engagement process and establishes a permanent platform for “ensuring that throughout Unilever’s worldwide operations workers can freely exercise their internationally recognized rights and in particular their rights to union membership and collective bargaining without fear of retaliation, repression or any other form of discrimination.” In the Memorandum, “Unilever recognizes its obligation to act to ensure that these rights are similarly respected by enterprises and their subcontractors providing products, operations and/or services to Unilever.”
The memorandum also highlights the importance of the ongoing work achieved through working groups focusing on sustainable employment and gender equality within this rights framework.
“We have been working successfully on these issues with Unilever for a number of years”, said IUF General Secretary Sue Longley, “and we look forward to deepening our engagement. Now that the process has been formalized we need to continue working together to ensure that the principles set out in the Memorandum are firmly anchored regionally, nationally and locally throughout Unilever’s global operations.”
CLICK HERE TO READ the text of the Joint Memorandum.