On 27 September together with the international union federation IndustriALL Global Union, the German family owned retailer, Tchibo signed a global framework agreement aimed at developing collective negotiations along the textile business’ supply chain. Tchibo is Germany’s first retailer to sign a global framework agreement.

This is not Tchibo’s first joint commitment with the international union federation. IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina welcomed the agreement stating “Tchibo has played an important part in pushing for industry-wide collective bargaining for workers, as well as the Bangladesh Accord for Building and Fire Safety in garment factories. By signing this agreement, we consolidate our partnership and empower the people who work for Tchibo in supplier factories around the world.” The company was one of the first to sign the multilateral agreement in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse. With this new agreement, the company is taking a more directly active role in the improvement of respect for workers’ fundamental rights along the supply chain. For Tchibo CEO Dr. Markus Conrad, the goal is “to achieve living wages for all people employed in a country’s garment and textile industry, in each production country.”

The agreement is based on the principle that healthy industrial relations and collective negotiation are the best ways to ensure that international labor standards are respected. Thus alongside IndustriaLL, the company is committed to creating an environment conducive to the development of collective negotiation at both sectoral and company level. Local level working groups can be put in place to set out its strategies and resolve any disputes. The company will also endeavor to enable the international federation, or its national members, to gain physically access to the suppliers’ and sub-contactors’ sites, with agreement from the relevant managers. A noticeable noveltly, the signatories agrees that in case they are unable to reach a mutual solution that is appropriate to remedy a breach, they “shall agree to seek assistance of the ILO for mediation and dispute settlement” and “to abide by the final recommandations of the ILO”.