Unilever signs a joint declaration in conjunction with the international trade unions UITA and IndustriALL to prevent sexual harassment
The declaration sets out a broad definition of this type of behavior (ranging from comments over one’s physical description to actual inappropriate physical gestures or contact, and including the employment of a condescending or paternalistic attitude with sexual undertones) The signatories “want to guarantee that all employees including those in sub-contracting businesses understand what is expected, know how to raise a problem, and can signal any abuses in full confidence.”
The declaration defines the principles for complaints procedures including confidential investigation, redeployment of the person engaged in harassing behavior and not redeployment of the harassment victim, training for managers, etc. The international unions will ensure affiliated unions receive training and that the national unions are encouraged to assist the victims.
Finally, the joint declaration indicates that in the absence of any existing standard procedure in a company that local management and unions will have established, by the end of 2016, a clear and precise policy for complaints procedures that will be based on international conventions, local level collective negotiation customs, and follow the guidelines as set out in the declaration.
The parties also commit to familiarizing management and local unions with the international standards over sexual harassment. In what are identified as ‘high risk’ areas, such as plantations where a high proportion of females work in temporary positions, or where the working population is essentially female and supervised by males, specific awareness and training measures will be undertaken.