”We have placed Sustainable Development at the heart of our business strategy for many years, because we believe it contributes in adding value and ensuring continued success. “
Sustainability and responsible management are, according to Holcim’s own statement, core values of its business strategy.
Reality within the Group looks rather different: Repeatedly we find violations of Labor and Trade Union rights in Holcim's plants worldwide. We discover various occupational diseases suffered by Holcim’s employees and residents living near Holcim’s plants. We observe ecological devastation, even as the decisions of indigenous populations and other communities affected by Holcim are disregarded.
We - Holcim employees, competent Trade Unions, affected populations and people in solidarity from all over the world--demand that Holcim Ltd. and its representative management obey their commitments to sustainability and corporate social responsibility in a verifiable and responsible manner and take the necessary actions.
We demand from Holcim true compliance with Labor and Trade Union rights: Compliance with the core labor standards (CLS) of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and compliance with the respective local collective agreements, as well as with the other occupational health and safety directives and regulations. This means, in particular, meeting the following requirements:
• Living wages that allow workers to live in dignity. This includes following the principle "equal pay and equal working conditions for equal value work." This principle shall also apply to temporary workers and subcontractors. Direct employment – including a written contract – with Holcim should be prioritized.
• Adequate occupational health and safety provisions for all – direct and indirect – Holcim employees.
• Recognition of the freedom of association for independent trade unions, approval of collective employees’ representation and collective bargaining (through competent/representative trade unions).
• Conclusion of an International Framework Agreement with the competent trade union organizations.
We demand that Holcim respects the co-determination rights of local people and communities during the planning process for new, or the expanding of already existing, production plants/sites. The rights are based on international conventions and laws inspired by the principle of “Free Prior Informed Consent” (FPIC). That means:
• No manipulation, no exertion of pressure, no use of force (“Free”)
• The right to consultation prior to the start of activities/works (“Prior”)
• Access to understandable, relevant and complete information (“Informed”)
• The right of the locals to reject a project and the respect of this decision by Holcim (“Consent”).
We demand that Holcim takes all necessary steps so that its activities do not lead to the destruction of the habitat of local populations neighboring Holcim facilities:
• No risk of harm to the health of local populations through Holcim’s activities. Granting of permanent and unhindered access to independent controllers.
• Compliance with statutory limits/directives on emissions of pollutants and the application of the latest technology for reducing (pollutant) emissions in all Holcim plants and sites.
• Accepting responsibility for the negative impacts of Holcim’s activities on humans and the environment (e.g. liability and compensation for damages which were caused by Holcim’s activities).
These requirements shall apply to all of Holcim’s establishments, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and also to Holcim’s joint ventures.
In many parts of the world, there are employees, populations affected by Holcim’s activities, and civil society groups in solidarity with them, who are united in their protest against Holcim’s practices. These protests shall continue until Holcim keeps the promises the management has given.
Rights without frontiers. Clear rules for Swiss enterprises. All over the world. This also applies to Holcim!
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