Agreement between H&M and Union Network International
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB, the multinational retail company with about 950 stores in 18 countries and 40,000 employees, and the international union UNI, Union Network International, with 15 million members in 900 affiliated unions in 140 countries, have negotiated an agreement to work together to secure and promote fundamental worker’s rights at all H&M’s workplaces worldwide.
The agreement between H&M and UNI is based on H&M’s corporate policy supporting the UN Global Compact as well as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. These include the support and respect for fundamental human rights, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, as well as the ban on child labour, forced labour and all types of discrimination in all H&M’s workplaces.
H&M and UNI have agreed that the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work shall be the cornerstone of their cooperation.
Rolf Eriksen, CEO of H&M, says that the agreement with UNI is a new, important step in the ongoing effort to make H&M’s fundamental principles well-known within as well as outside the company.
- H&M has always sought to maintain good relations with trade unions. For us, it goes without saying that each member of the staff has the right to belong to and participate actively in a trade union organization, says Rolf Eriksen.
Jan Furstenborg, head of UNI Commerce, said this is the second worldwide agreement within the retail industry. In a world of increasing global trade, such agreements are a good way to set standards that ensure the rights of employees to join a trade union and the right to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement, wherever a company operates. It is important to develop the social dialogue between the social partners in many parts of the world in order to improve the relations between employers and trade unions.
- I appreciate the fact that a multinational Nordic retail company is leading the way for the industry with a constructive approach towards employees and trade unions. Global agreements will further support the positive development we see in increasing respect for trade union rights. We are looking forward to the continuation of the good cooperation we already have with H&M, Furstenborg said.
The agreement will be ratified by UNI Commerce decision makers and will then be formally signed by both parties in January 2004.
For further information, please contact:
Jan Furstenborg, Head of Department UNI Commerce.
Phone: + 41 79 202 19 27.
Kristina Stenvinkel, Head of Communications, H&M.
Phone: + 46 8 796 39 08
+ 46 8 70 796 54 40.