The commitment to respecting and upholding human rights is outlined in detail in the chapter entitled “Respect and integrity” of the voestalpine Code of Conduct. Human rights are also a crucial point in the mandatory Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
UN Global Compact – The 10 Principles
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
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.
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. The voestalpine Group has a Group Works Council and a European Works Council, both of which have a good basis for communication with the management.
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. Nor does voestalpine tolerate any form of child labor, forced labor, or compulsory labor amongst its suppliers or business partners.
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 on child and forced labor, equal treatment of employees, and the right of employee representation and collective bargaining.
Human trafficking and modern slavery
Companies within the voestalpine Group who are subject to the UK Modern Slavery Act fulfil its conditions by publishing a statement to that effect. The Code of Conduct and the Code of Conduct for Business Partners explicitly mention and expressly prohibit human trafficking and modern slavery.
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.