Labor Rights Protection
LG Electronics guarantees employees’ basic labor rights including freedom to associate and right to negotiate. It is highly praised for its fine labor-management relationship based on the labor union’s fulfillment of social responsibilities and future-oriented Win-Win Labor Relations.
HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION AND PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION
LGE recognizes the right of all employees and stakeholders to pursue happiness, to work with dignity and to have their value as human beings respected. Accordingly, LGE complies with the standards established by the UN, ILO, OECD, and other international labor organizations as well as labor laws and regulations. It established and announced Global Labor Policy that contains the values to be shared with all stakeholders in August 2010. The Labor Policy includes a regulation that prohibits forced labor that restrains mental and physical freedom, employing minors below the age of 15, and assignment of dangerous tasks to youths under the age of 18. The Labor Policy further prohibits discrimination based on gender and race, promotes compliance with the maximum working hours set forth by the law, payment for overtime, and contributes towards local economic development. In addition, the policy also guarantees employees the freedom to join a union, as well as to join in the activities of the union and freedom to organize. The Labor Policy has been distributed to all the worksites throughout the world and has been complied with as the LGE labor standards.
GLOBAL LABOR POLICY
In August 2010, in order to further practice LGE's corporate cultural principle of "Respecting Human Dignity", LGE has published its Global Labor Policy to recognize the rights of all employees to pursue happiness, to work with dignity, and to have value as respected human beings. The Global Labor Policy has been translated and distributed in a total of 20 languages including English and Chinese.
In March 2013, we amended some provisions on "Prohibition of Child Employment" and "Work Hours" to provide greater details and clarity. In September 2015, the Policy was amended to meet current international standards including 'Prohibition of overtime and night shift for young workers' and 'No recruitment fees'. LGE will continue to practice CSR by consistently improving its labor and human rights related processes.
DIVERSE COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
All employees of LGE are eligible to join and participate in the activities of labor unions, in accordance with the relevant collective bargaining agreements and labor union regulations. As of the year-end 2014, a total of 7,716 employees, representing 21% of our total workforce in Korea, were union members. The union’s infrastructure consists of one head office and six branches throughout the country. All union members have voting rights and are eligible to stand for office. In addition to the quarterly labor-management meeting and annual Collective bargaining, LGE communicates various issues, including working conditions, regularly through diverse channels. Both parties negotiate in good faith and with patience on important agendas to reach an agreement. A prime example is the adaptation of a performance oriented promotion system for production employees that was established in 2010 after 3 years of discussion. Through such efforts, the labor and the management achieved their 26 consecutive year of agreement without dispute, proving LGE’s superiority in labor relations. In addition, LGE also operates the Junior Board to obtain suggestions from both union and non-union members. LGE further makes diverse efforts through various channels to promote effective communication.
Labor-Management Relations at LGE
Labor-Management Communication Structure
GLOBAL WIN-WIN LABOR RELATIONS
In the case of overseas offices, there is higher chance for various labor-management issues to arise due to cultural differences. As a result, LGE has spread the advanced labor-management culture and labor-management know-how to overseas offices as a part of its ongoing efforts to form a global advanced labor-management culture. In 2010, LGE launched the Global Win-Win Labor Relations Project and inspected the labor-management status of subsidiaries in Nanjiang of China, Indonesia, and Poland. LGE advised these office to establish region specific guidelines that reflect their culture and conditions. Continuing on from 2010 and to 2011, LGE a standard labor-management organization both in Korea and overseas and build an even stronger and more systematic labor-management relationship. In addition, LGE is strengthening the global labor management network to monitor and evaluate the labor-management relationship in real-time and assign a Green, Yellow, or Red signal corresponding to the situation
In order to protect employees’ human rights, promote workplace satisfaction, and provide a healthy and sound working environment, LG Electronics makes every effort to handle employee grievances in a fair and reasonable manner. To this end, we operate a three-step employee grievance resolution process composed of submission, resolution, and feedback & awareness promotion.
We also categorize employee grievances into the following six areas: career development, HR, working conditions, work environment, relationships, and personal matters, after which diverse channels are employed accordingly (e.g. semiannual meetings with the team leader, grievance resolution committee & counseling center, JB Council, Labor-Management Council) to resolve employee grievances in an expedient manner.
At our business sites in Korea, we have also established counseling centers and offer counseling and therapy programs with guarantee of anonymity to actively address various grievances and emotional issues arising from our employees’ personal and professional life. Counseling centers operate a wide range of programs, including individual, group, and family therapy sessions, and employees are required to make an appointment to protect their anonymity. If needed, employees are provided with an interpretation session on the result of their psychological tests, and group sessions are also offered to facilitate the resolution of internal conflicts within a team.
Grievances Resolution Process
CSR RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
In accordance with the CSR Risk Management Program introduced in 2010, LG Electronics assesses its production sites for their compliance with the Global Labor Policy. In 2013, we conducted the EICC assessment (self-assessment) on our 40 production sites (7 in Korea and 33 overseas) biannually. The number of assessment targets increased to 40 from 37 in the previous year as the assessment was expanded to include joint venture and new sites (Jeonju, Haiphong in Vietnam and Turkey). In the assessment, our production sites averaged 88.25 points, up 1.54 points from 2012 (86.71). The number of production sites rated to be at low risk also increased from 28 (2012) to 33.
Based on the self-assessment results obtained in the first half of 2013, our production sites established improvement plans to address the risks identified through the assessment and made voluntary improvement efforts. We also reviewed the progress of their performance through the assessment performed in the second half, and shared best practice cases with other production sites. Moving forward, we intend to reward best production sites and relevant staff members to provide further motivation toward improving CSR compliance.
In 2014, we conducted the self-assessment at all of our 37 production sites (seven in Korea and 30 overseas), excluding the three sites that have closed (Shanghai, China; and Haiphong and Hung Yen, Vietnam). In the assessment, our production sites averaged 89.18 points, up 0.93 point from 2013 (88.25 points). The percentage of production sites rated to be at low risk also increased to 89.2 percent, up 6.7 percent from 2013 (82.5%). We plan to increase the number of assessment targets to 39 sites in 2015. The assessment also showed that our production sites in Middle East and Africa have a relatively high risk level. As such, we are going to place this region under extensive management. Some of the labor/human rights issues identified in the 2013 assessment have been addressed, as shown in the right. However, we have concluded that production subsidiaries’ effort towards addressing forced labor and child labor issues at their supplier sites still requires much improvement.
In addition to the EICC Self-Assessment, we are improving our working conditions through third party audits. In 2014, a total of six production sites (Gumi, Changwon 1, 2, Taizhou, Nanjing, and Turkey) participated in the EICC VAP (Validated Audit Program: Third Party Audit), through which a total of 88 non-conformances were identified. Of the 88 non-conformances cited, 76 of them had been addressed (86%, as of March 20, 2015). The bulk of non-conformances were from “Health & Safety” and “Labor” (78%). We plan to take a mid-to long-term approach to the issues that are difficult to address in the short term, such as “compliance with international standards on working hours.”
USR(UNION SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY)
The Labor Union of LGE held a declaration event for the Union Social Responsibility(USR) Charter in January 2010. The union has faithfully been complying with the provisions set forth in the Charter and has introduced a new concept of labor union. The union introduced the “Win-Win Labor Relations” based on social responsibilities to the public, and has been making joint efforts with the management to create a healthy and sustainable society.
The LGE Labor Union established a vision for USR as part of its efforts toward goal-oriented and effective USR activities. In order to achieve the vision of "Socially Responsible Labor Union that Provides Innovative Value" the Labor Union focuses on fulfilling USR, improving the quality of employees’ lives and making contributions to the global community as its key role and responsibility. The USR system is constructed based on “ISO 26000 - Social responsibility” (Standards established by the International Organization for Standardization to provide guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible manner) and organized into the seven core subject areas of Governance, Human Rights, Labor, the Environment, Fair Operating Practices, Consumer Issues, Community Involvement & Development. the LGE Labor Union develops action plans for each core subject and carries out systematic USR activities.
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