UNI signs new global agreement with Société Générale as the bank’s commitment to labour and human rights deepens

Monday 4 February 2019

Société Générale and UNI Global Union renewed their global agreement at a ceremony in Paris today.  Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary and the Société Générale Group’s Director of Human Resources, Caroline Guillaumin  signed the agreement, which deepens the bank’s commitments to labour and human rights.

The renewed agreement applies to all the Société Générale Group’s entities and its 147,000 staff worldwide and explicitly addresses the role of UNI in the company’s due diligence process. The renewed agreement builds on the three-year agreement signed in 2015 which was the first of its kind in the French banking sector.

UNI Global Union General Secretary, Christy Hoffman said, “This new agreement improves upon the previous version in several important ways and reaffirms Société Générale’s commitment to social dialogue, freedom of association and collective bargaining. We look forward to working with the bank to ensure that all workers can exercise their right to organise,  have safe jobs, and enjoy workplaces free of discrimination.”

The agreement includes:

A clearer articulation of rights to freedom of association and bargaining, including clauses guaranteeing good faith bargaining and ensuring that the company will remain neutral during organising efforts.

  • A more robust dispute resolution process;
  • A commitment that UNI will be consulted during the company’s assessment of risks required by the French “loi de vigilance” and will be involved in the development of remedies when necessary.
  • New language on fighting discrimination;
  • New protections for workplace health and safety.
  • The application of due diligence to suppliers.

Today’s agreement is the eighth UNI has either signed or renewed since its Liverpool World Congress in June 2018, including five in the finance sector.

“We are proud to be taking our agreement with UNI Global Union even further. It confirms our commitment to respecting human rights as set out in our Code of Conduct and our recognition of the International Labour Organisation’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, including the freedom of association. All Societe Generale Group’s Human Resources teams around the world worked hard together to finalise the agreement, which reflects the constructive social dialogue we have with employee representatives at Societe Generale,” said Caroline Guillaumin, Group Head of Human Resources at Société Generale.

Amongst those present at today’s signing were, Cristina Arzani, UNI Europa Finance Coordinator of the European Trade Union Alliance in Société Générale; Ali Atoud Zakaria, UNI Finance Trade Union Alliance Coordinator; Angelo di Cristo, Head of UNI Finance; and UNI Finance coordinator, Anna Harvey.

Read the full agreement here below.