Automotive Labour Conditions Question 2

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Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1) a formal employment relationship; 2) a maximum working week of 60 hours including paid overtime; 3) a living wage; and 4) to form and join labour unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, to develop parallel means?

Dutch version: Bevat de Code of Conduct minimaal twee van de volgende arbeidsrechten: 1. een wettige arbeidsovereenkomst 2. een werkweek van maximaal 48 uren met vrijwillige, betaalde overuren tot 12 uren maximaal en 3. een leefbaar loon en 4. om te organiseren in een vakbond en collectief te onderhandelen, en gelijksoortige oplossingen te ontwikkelen wanneer deze rechten worden beperkt door de wet?

German version: Schließt der Verhaltenskodex wenigstens zwei der folgenden Rechte ein: 1) ein offizielles Beschäftigungsverhältnis; 2) eine Arbeitswoche von max. 60 Stunden inkl. bezahlte Überstunden; 3) ein Lohn, der die Lebenshaltung deckt; 4) das Recht, eine Gewerkschaft zu gründen oder einer beizutreten, um gemeinsame Tarifverhandlungen durchführen zu können. Sollten diese Rechte gesetzlich eingeschränkt sein, schließt der Verhaltenskodex des Unternehmens das Recht ein, vergleichsweise Mittel zu fördern?


For general references about labour condition see the references at the Automotive Labour Conditions Question 1. Note that this question and references are in line with Telecom Labour Conditions and Human Rights Question 2.

The first mentioned standard in this question refers to employment security and is partly based on ILO Convention 158. The working week standard is based on the “maximum hours of work” ILO conventions nr. 1 and nr. 14.

The issue of ‘living wage’, based on ILO convention 131 (Minimum Wage Fixing) has historically been under discussion. The lack of proper guidelines that define ‘basic needs’ and ‘living wage’ contributes to the discussion. But the workers wage is directly linked to the purchase price that brands are facing. Despite the current discussion around ‘living wage’, we find it is important that companies endorse this very basic issue, and that these companies implicitly and consequently agree to pay ‘fair prices’. Companies can be held accountable for this promise they make.

Concerning the labour union and collective bargaining standards (4th) in this question (referring to ILO conventions 87 and 98), please note that in countries like China there are certain legal restrictions on joining labour unions and collective bargaining, but alternatives are still possible. For the situations where these rights are restricted by law, the code should provide for parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining for all workers, as based on ILO Conventions 135 and 154 and Recommendation 143.

Ranking guidelines

Only reward a ‘Yes’ if two of the four standards are clearly mentioned. Please mention in the remark section exactly where you found the statements.

A 'yes' can also be rewarded to brands when they clearly report that all the brand products and parts are made in ‘low risk’ countries.

Concerning the living wage standard (3rd), please note that many Codes of Conduct refer to minimum legal wages and industry wages. Legal minimum wages and industry wages do not necesarily cover living costs and can be lower. Therefore, to contribute to a ‘Yes’ this standard should entail a clear and unconditional statement for wages that cover living costs.

The 'labour union' standard can contribute to a ‘Yes’ if the code meets at least one of the following criteria:
- the CoC has a special, clear provision referring to the situation of law restrictions and parallel means;
- the code has a basic standard about freedom of association and collective bargaining, and the brand clearly reports that none of the brand’s products or parts are made in countries where these legal restrictions are in place.