Wednesday 17 July 2019

Human Rights and Labor Relations

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TITAN signed onto the United Nations’ call to promote the Global Compact in 2002 without hesitation. After all, the first nine principles of the Compact, as well as the tenth principle on the abolition of corruption added in 2004, had been for many years among the Group’s core principles and values.

The ten Global Compact principles are clearly stated in the “TITAN Group Corporate Values and Code of Conduct” which was issued in 2003 and has been translated and distributed to all Group employees in their native languages.

Overall responsibility to ensure compliance with Corporate Values and the Code of Conduct lies with the Internal Audit Division, which includes relevant reports in its annual Report to the Internal Audit Committee and, in accordance with TITAN Group’s Corporate Governance principles, is supervised directly by the Managing Director.

Since 2005, all new employees receive a copy of the Code upon their hire and sign a relevant statement declaring that they understand it and are committed to implementing its principles.

To better understand the way in which the ten Global Compact principles are implemented throughout the Group, please refer to our website for our relevant policies and practices by topic:

1. Universal Declaration on Human Rights

Respect for fundamental human rights, as guaranteed in the United Nations Human Rights Convention of 1977, and the rights of workers, as in the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Workers’ Rights (Convention 87) are the main reference points for the TITAN Group’s strategic objective:

“We aim to grow as a multi-regional, vertically integrated cement producer, combining an entrepreneurial spirit and operational excellence with respect for people, society and the environment.”

Corporate Social Responsibility, furthermore, has been adopted by the Group as one of its six corporate values and is defined as:

“Social Responsibility … We function as an active member of society, supporting the cause of sustainable development and respect the individual - whether employee, citizen, or member of the community.”

The Group Code of Conduct also states:

“We are firmly committed to implementing all national and international regulations safeguarding fundamental human rights and protecting minors. We regard as unacceptable any conduct which threatens the dignity of the individual, leads to discrimination of any kind or entails any form of forced labor. The same regulations must be complied with by all our contractors and other associates.”

In each country of TITAN Group’s operations, the local legal framework defines the implementation of international treaties and conventions. In Greece, where the Group is headquartered, the above-mentioned conventions, as well as relevant European Union treaties and directives constitute part of national law with specific references both to the Constitution and national labor legislation.

The two ILO Conventions, adopted in 1948 and 1949, respectively concerning the protection of the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining were ratified by the Greek Parliament in 1962 and they have since then been a part of national legislation.

In Bulgaria, similarly a member of the European Union, the above-mentioned treaties, as well as EU directives and those of the Council of Europe have been incorporated into national legislation as well.

Serbia, North Macedonia and Egypt have also signed and incorporated into national legislation international treaties related to the protection of fundamental human rights and workers’ rights.

The legal framework in the United States is different from that prevalent in Europe. Human rights are protected by the Constitution, while special protection is provided for the rights of workers. Specifically with respect to the protection of workers and the application of the principle of equal opportunities, the Equal Opportunities Commission is charged with monitoring its implementation by companies and decides on a case-by-case basis according to claims made by workers or applicants with respect to alleged relevant infractions (see Relevant Reports in the TITAN Group Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Report).

2. Promotion of the Global Compact principles within the TITAN Group’s sphere of influence

TITAN Group’s commitment to the Global Compact principles includes the responsibility to share our values within the Group’s sphere of influence, defined as follows:

A company’s sphere of influence can be visualized as a set of concentric circles. The first and relatively smallest circle includes the company’s main activities in its area of operations and the market. Here a company has the largest influence on behavior with respect to the environment, society and corporate governance. The next circle includes the supply chain. Here the possibility of monitoring influence is significantly diminished, although in some cases it may be considerable. The third circle includes a company’s interactive relationship with society, social investments and philanthropic activities. Finally, a fourth circle of influence includes a company’s participation in relevant public policy issues and activities designed to support specific positions or choices.

In 2007, TITAN published a Code of Conduct for Procurement in which the Global Compact principles have been incorporated. This initiative was taken in order to clearly demonstrate our commitment relative to respect for and implementation of the ten principles within the Group’s sphere of influence and especially among its main business associates.

Report 2018