EU & arbetsrätt 2 1998

IKEA-leverantörer skall tvingas respektera grundläggande rättigheter

Möbelkoncernen IKEA och Internationella Byggnads - och Träarbetarunionen (IBTU) slöt den 25 maj en jämförelsevis långtgående överenskommelse som skall garantera grundläggande fackliga och sociala rättigheter för mellan 700 000 och 800 000 arbetstagare som arbetar för koncernen världen över. IKEA åtar sig att kräva att företagets leverantörer tillämpar anställningsvillkor som uppfyller kraven i nationella avtal eller lagar, och att de respekterar de ILO - konventioner och rekommendationer som berör deras verksamhet. Reglerna skall finnas anslagna på de aktuella språken på alla arbetsplatser. Detsamma skall gälla vid IKEAs egna företag. IKEA och IBTU skall gemensamt övervaka att reglerna följs. Överenskommelsen återges här i sin helhet.

Agreement between IKEA and the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers

IKEA is one of the world' s leading home furnishing companies, with procurement in some 70 countries, and retailing in approximately 30 countries. The company is faced every day with cultural differences and diverse economic and social conditions.

IKEA' s development confirms the growing globalisation and trade in manufactured goods. For a number of years the company has operated an internal Code of Conduct on ethical and social conditions in its relations with contractors all over the world.

The IFBWW and IKEA have each built up international experience over the years and are agreed on the advantages of long-term, stable rules of conduct for all parties in both producer and purchaser countries, which may also provide standards for industries other than the wood industry.The Code of Conduct which is attached in Appendix 1, signifies that IKEA is demanding of its contractors that their employees have conditions of employment which do at least fulfil the requirements of their national legislation. The suppliers must respect those ILO Conventions and Recommendations which apply to their business. It means that child labour is not acceptable and that the workers are free to join trade unions and take part in free collective bargaining.

A similar Code of Conduct also applies to manufacturing companies owned by IKEA. The Code of Conduct in Appendix 1 will be available at all work-places in the appropriate languages.

A Monitoring Group will be appointed with two members from IKEA and two members from the IFBWW. The Monitoring Group will meet at least twice a year, and the parties shall provide relevant information in order to carry out its mandate. The group shall aim to hold its meetings at suppliers' premises.

If suppliers do not observe the Code of Conduct as in Appendix 1, the Monitoring Group will review the matter and propose appropriate measures. However, it is always IKEA' s responsibility to regulate conditions of collaboration with its suppliers.

Geneva, Switzerland, 25 May 1998
Stig Holmqvist
IFBWW' s Wood and Forestry
Gunnar A. Karlsson


APPENDIX 1: Code of conduct regarding the rights of workers

1. Employment must be freely chosen

No coercion may be used, including forced labour, slavery or non-voluntary work in prisons (ILO Conventions nos. 29 and 105). Nor must workers be asked to make "deposits" or leave their ID as pledges with their employers.

2. No discrimination in employment

There will be equal opportunities and equal treatment regardless of race, colour, gender, creed, political views, nationality, social background or any other special characteristics (ILO Conventions nos. 100 and 111).

3. Child labour must not be used

Child labour must not occur. Only workers aged 15 and over, or over the age of compulsory education if higher, may be employed (ILO Convention no.138). Exceptions to this rule may only be made if national legislation provides otherwise.

4. Respect for the right to freedom of association and free collective bargaining

The right of all workers to form and belong to trade unions shall be recognised (ILO Conventions nos. 87 and 98). Workers' representatives may not be discriminated against and must have access to all the work-places necessary to exercise their functions as trade unions representatives ([LO Convention 135 and Recommendation 143). Employers shall adopt positive views of the activities of trade unions and an open attitude to their organising activities.

5. Adequate wages must be paid

Wages and conditions of work must fulfil at least the requirements laid down in national agreements or national legislation. Unless wage deductions are permitted by national legislation they may not be made without express permission of the workers concerned. All workers must be given written, understandable information in their own language about wages before taking up their work, and the details of their wages in writing on each occasion that wages are paid.

6. Working time must not be unreasonable

Working time should follow the appropriate legislation or national agreements for each trade.

7. Working conditions must be decent

Working environments must be safe, hygienic and the best health and safety conditions must be promoted considering current knowledge of the trade and any special hazards. Physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse, unusual penalties or punishments, sexual or other forms of harassment and threats by the employer shall be strictly forbidden.

8. Conditions of employment must be established

Employers' obligations to workers according to national labour legislation and regulations on social protection based on permanent employment must be respected. Apprenticeships that do not truly aim to provide knowledge must not be permitted. The parties shall work towards creating permanent employment.

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