Labour director Thomas Toepfer
The KION Group is making a commitment to labour standards at its worldwide sites and employees are encouraged to report of violations and to make suggestions to improve their working conditions.
The group is present in over 100 countries, including newly industrialising countries like India and China, and employs over 22,000 people. Most of its employees work in its 14 production sites in nine countries.
Frank Brandmaier, head of KION Group's corporate media relations, says because the group employs people in many different countries, their employment conditions vary significantly as legal, social, commercial and cultural standards differ from region to region.
"As a group of companies that operates globally, KION wants to - and must - take account of regional differences.
"However, with these standards, we clearly underscore our social responsibility towards all our employees around the world. The standards are based on the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which proscribe all forms of forced labour, child labour and discrimination as well as stipulating that every employee should have freedom of association," he says.
Most of the countries in which KION employs people have ratified the ILO conventions - but not all of them have. The new commitment aims to ensure that all companies within the group comply with the standards.
"The standards are an expression of our social responsibility towards all our employees," says labour director Thomas Toepfer. "Of course, we have always adhered to the individual principles, but now we have brought them together and set them down in writing."