Partnership with the employees
We want to work together with our employees as partners, respect their interests and get them involved in the company by continuously providing them with information and enabling them to participate in decision-making processes. To achieve these goals, we are guided not only by the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) work and social standards but also by our “Principles of Social Responsibility.” In these principles, we commit ourselves, among other things, to respect key employee rights, ranging from the provision of equal opportunities to the right to receive equal pay for equal work. Violations of these principles can be reported to the whistleblower system BPO, which adresses further investigations to the pertinent units.
Our employees have the right to organize themselves in labor unions. We also ensure this right in countries in which freedom of association is not legally protected. We work together constructively with the employee representatives and the trade unions. Important partners here include the local works councils, the European Works Council and the World Employee Committee (WEC). We have signed collective bargaining agreements for all of the employees at Daimler AG, and this also applies to the majority of our employees throughout the Group. In a variety of committees, we regularly inform the employee representatives about the economic situation and all of the key changes at Daimler AG and the Group. We conclude agreements with the respective workers’ representative bodies concerning the effects of our decisions on the employees. In Germany, comprehensive regulations to this effect are contained in the Works Council Constitution Act. We notify our employees about far-reaching changes early on.
One result of the ongoing dialogue between the corporate management and the employees’ association was the renewal of the company-wide “Safeguarding the Future of Daimler” agreement in 2015. This accord, which is valid until 2020, enables the company to respond to the “future plan” agreements that have been reached at many of the locations of Daimler AG with concrete investment commitments, flexible personnel assignment models and the possibility of selectively increasing staffing requirements. As a result, we can make use of market opportunities and better absorb fluctuations in demand. The company-wide agreement essentially protects all of the employees of Daimler AG in Germany from being laid off until the end of 2020. The expansion of this Safeguarding the Future agreement is also an integral part of the “Project Future” and is being implemented in close cooperation with the employee representatives. If “Project Future” is implemented, Daimler AG’s Safeguarding the Future agreement will be extended until 2029, thus in principle excluding terminations for operational reasons until December 31, 2029. Another key point of this reconciliation of interests for the employees is the nearly full funding of the pension obligations. With regard to the latter, Daimler contributed €3 billion to Daimler AG’s German pension assets in the fourth quarter of the year under review.