Workers must be given the opportunity to assert their rights themselves. 

The aim is to give workers a stronger voice and more rights.

Safeguarding labour standards 

In the long run, labour standards can only be secured on a lasting basis if workers are given the opportunity to represent their own interests. Workers’ representatives and trade unions are the instruments that enable workers to demand – and monitor – enforcement of their rights in the workplace in the long term. That is why we work in partnership with IndustriALL Global Union, an international confederation of trade unions. 

International Framework Agreement to promote workers’ rights 

In September 2016, Tchibo became the first retail company in Germany to conclude a Framework Agreement with IndustriALL Global Union for our supply chains for non-food items. 

It ensures that workers have the ability to unionise and to engage in collective bargaining beyond our Social and Environmental Code of Conduct. The agreement is designed to make it easier for them work with local trade unions to negotiate wages, benefits and working hours both internally and industry-wide. It strengthens our commitment to trade union rights and social dialogue and thereby reinforces the topic of freedom of association and workers’ representation in the WE programme. 

Social dialogue in Myanmar 

In Myanmar, we are currently involved in the project ‘Promoting Sustainability in the Textile and Garment Industry in Asia’, which is run by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Our focus is on establishing social dialogue with all our local suppliers, as a platform for better labour standards. 

Find out more about our commitment to social dialogue in the Tchibo Human Rights Report (Non Food). 

Why Myanmar?

Following the country’s democratic opening and the subsequent removal of sanctions in 2012, its exports-based garment industry was rebuilt – predominantly by foreign companies. The company has an authoritarian history, yet at the same time it has the opportunity to develop a sustainable model for the garment industry. This prompted us to implement a dialogue-based human rights programme from the very beginning as we began to establish business relationships. Employment legislation in Myanmar is still at an early stage and has many gaps, and the administrative bodies responsible for it are somewhat inexperienced. Trade unions were banned until 2012, but they now want to play a part in shaping the country’s social development. This, combined with a new self-confidence amongst young workers, is resulting in a growing number of labour disputes and strikes. It is here that we want to help with our project for social dialogue.