UNI Europa Graphical organised a trade union coordination meeting of the DS Smith Company in Berlin on 26 and 27 June 2017.
The meeting gathered 36 trade unionists from 10 different countries and the human resource manager of DS Smith.
The meeting acknowledged the importance of reinforcing the trade union alliance and continuing the coordination and communication between the EWC and the trade union alliance.
A fruitful exchange of information took place about the working conditions in the different plants/countries of the company. Health and safety was pointed out as an important issue. It appears that absenteeism is growing, because of demotivation and/ or job intensification.
The industry is often considered as unattractive for young workers, which is an important issue to be addressed in the future as well as the skills and training needs with regard to the technological/ digital evolution.
DS Smith human resource manager explained that one of the company’s main objectives is to grow globally and also in Europe. Although DS Smith has a decentralised management, some minimal standards for managers are in place. He assured that DS Smith is willing to improve the good practices and the company policy stands for stable jobs with decent salaries. He recognised the good communication between management and the EWC members. He also agreed to continue a dialogue with the trade union alliance.
In September 2017, the Steering Committee of the trade union alliance will meet to envisage the next steps to improve dialogue with the management of DS Smith.