The chapter titled “Respect and Integrity” of the voestalpine Code of Conduct, which also covers human rights, states:
Based on the UN Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights, human rights are viewed by the Group as fundamental values, which must be respected and observed by all employees. The corporate culture of voestalpine Group acknowledges and welcomes the fact that each person is unique and valuable and shall be respected for his or her individual abilities. voestalpine Group therefore does not tolerate any type of discrimination whatsoever in any form. This also applies to sexual harassment in any form, for instance by way of obvious advances, demeaning comments, jokes, vulgar expressions, obscene gestures, or the display of graphic material in business and production facilities of the Group. Such conduct may be considered harassment even if it was not intended as such.
These principles shall also apply to conduct towards external partners.
The commitment to respecting and upholding human rights is also enshrined as a crucial point in the Code of Conduct for Business Partners, which voestalpine suppliers are required to comply with.
All customers are also strongly urged to respect and uphold human rights.
Collective bargaining and the right to freedom of association
Around 80% of the voestalpine workforce is in an employment relationship that is regulated by a collective agreement, i.e., in all countries where such collective agreements exist. Every employee has the fundamental right and freedom to become a member of a union. In all voestalpine companies, employee representatives can be elected by the workforce. There is a Group Works Council and a European Works Council in the voestalpine Group.
Traditionally, a good basis for communication is maintained at voestalpine between management, members of the Work Council, and the unions.
Child labor and forced labor
voestalpine is strictly against child and forced labor. Thus far, there is not a single known case of child labor, forced labor, or compulsory labor in the entire Group.
The Code of Conduct for voestalpine business partners states:
The Business Partner undertakes to respect and comply with human rights as fundamental values on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Charter on Human Rights. In particular, this applies to the prohibition of child and forced labor, equal treatment of employees, and the right of employee representation and collective bargaining.
Human rights training for security personnel
voestalpine plant security personnel consists largely of company employees. The Code of Conduct also applies to employees of third-party companies and the Code of Conduct for business partners applies to their employers. Both documents stipulate compliance with human rights. voestalpine carries out human rights training of its own employees; external security personnel are trained by their employer.
Rights of indigenous peoples
As voestalpine operates solely in developed industrial regions, the rights of aboriginal peoples are not restricted in any way by voestalpine’s business operations.