Workers’ voices must be at the heart of EU policy initiatives on sustainable corporate governance – as it is workers and their communities who are so often damaged when rights and safety are violated.
IndustriAll European Trade Union has long been advocating for a socially responsible and sustainable corporate governance of multinational companies which fosters the long-term development of companies for the benefit of workers, citizens and the environment. Therefore, when the opportunity to set out a trade union vision for the reform of corporate governance rules was presented, industriAll Europe leapt at the chance to give its position.
Under the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, the European Commission has launched preparatory work for an upcoming EU legislative initiative on the three issues of due diligence duty; directors’ duty; and directors’ remuneration, which are grouped under the heading ’sustainable corporate governance‘. The European Commission’s plan comes after decades of heated debate on the need to revise the corporate governance model of companies in Europe. This revision is important in order to depart from a short-term financial outlook aimed at serving the sole interest of shareholders; and to embrace a long-term sustainable strategic management of companies for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The European Commission’s plan also follows decades of both European and global debate on the need to adopt mandatory due diligence duty in order to oblige multinational companies to respect fundamental human and workers’ rights all along their supply chain and across borders. The European Commission has revived its attention to the issue in light of its Green Deal strategy and commitments to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of the preparatory work, the European Commission is running an online public consultation - open to all European citizens and organisations - aimed at collecting a broad range of views. The consultation closes on the 8 February 2021.
At industriAll Europe, we encourage trade unionists and citizens from across Europe to get involved and join the call for strong corporate governance rules in the EU.
Together with ÖGB, Friends of the Earth, the European Coalition for Corporate Justice and AK, the ETUC has developed a website to allow citizens and workers to respond to the consultation, based on a standard reply. The website is available in EN, ES, FR, DE, IT.
IndustriAll Europe’s Deputy General Secretary, Judith Kirton-Darling:
“Workers’ voices must be at the heart of EU policy initiatives on sustainable corporate governance – as it is workers and their communities who are so often damaged when rights and safety are violated."
"The trade union movement is united in calling for an ambitious, binding legislative initiative on due diligence, which focuses on the respect of workers’ and trade union rights, as well as other human rights, and which guarantees the necessary role of trade unions and workers' representatives in the due diligence process. Now we need to see the EU, national governments and more companies backing the call and delivering concrete action for workers across Europe and around the world.”
IndustriAll Europe's contribution to the public consultation on Due Diligence and Sustainable Corporate Governance