ST is committed to respecting worker rights and continuously improving labor conditions throughout its operations.
ST values its Human Resources and is committed to its employees’ rights and labor conditions as a basic HR value. ST understands it as well as a primary contributor to ST business success and development. Our ongoing commitment to protecting labor and human rights is expressed in: our Code of Conduct; through our continued support of the UN Global Compact principles, which we have been a signatory of since 2000; and also through our eight year membership of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC).
The electronics industry is facing increased scrutiny by civil society organizations, customers, investors and the media over working conditions in its supply chain. In recent years, a number of key international standards and guidance documents have been published to help manage labor and human rights responsibly e.g. the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and ISO 26000. ST constantly reinforces policies and practices to respond to the increasing expectations of its stakeholders.
Philippe Brun, Corporate Human Resources Vice President
"ST strives to be an employer of choice by fostering a workplace environment that encourages people to reach their potential. Ensuring that our employees are treated with respect and dignity is a fundamental principle of how we operate and we closely support and monitor our sites and departments to ensure we meet our responsibilities in this area."
Labor and human rights management
For almost 15 years, ST has progressively managed labor and human rights through three key standards:
We adopt two main strategic approaches to managing our labor and human rights programs:
Monitoring our stakeholders’ expectations and key industry concerns
We ensure our internal processes and practices are aligned with external stakeholders’ expectations, international guidelines and diverse legislation through:
- Meeting customer requirements - Over the past five years, our customers have significantly increased their focus on managing supply chain labor and human rights issues and require us to comply with and be monitored against their standards.
- Membership of the EICC - The EICC’s objective is to create a common industry approach to sustainability by providing tools and methods to help members manage specific labor and human rights issues and implement new legislation. ST is applying the EICC model across all of its sites and throughout its supply chain. For more information on how we do this, please go to Management of Sustainability in our Supply chain.
- Involvement in Entreprises pour les Droits de l’Homme (EDH) - EDH is a group of eight multi-national companies, created in 2005 to find practical ways of applying the aspirations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights within a business context, and to inspire other companies to do the same. Within this group ST has contributed to the development of HR management improvement tools and employee awareness training related to labor and human rights.
Adopting a risk-based approach to improvement
We systematically identify major risks relating to labor rights and working conditions in our operations and activities through the use of risk-assessment and audit tools. These are deployed according to the potential risks of each operational entity.
- All sites and departments - Following HR Policy updates, all sites and departments are requested to perform a gap analysis against our HR Policy and define action plans. ST’s Corporate HR department closely monitors these assessments.
- Manufacturing sites - ST deploys phases 2 and 3 of the EICC Engagement Model, specifically designed for manufacturing sites:
- Phase 2 - all manufacturing sites update their Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) annually. This detailed evaluation addresses four key areas of social responsibility risk, labor, health and safety, environment and ethical conduct. Sites are requested to define specific actions to improve their practices based on the results of their SAQ.
- Phase 3 - high risk manufacturing sites are prioritized and use a Validated Audit Process (VAP) which is usually deployed by a third party. Sites define action plans following an audit. Their progress against this plan is also validated by a third party. ST then manages a road map to ensure these sites are monitored for continuous improvement.
We adopt a transparent approach to sharing sites’ SAQ and VAP reports with customers when requested, and annually report priority, major and minor non-conformances resulting from EICC audits.
ST analyzes the results of labor assessments and audits at both corporate and local levels so that we can design effective programs which, as well as ensuring compliance with ST Policies, also take in to account customers’ standards, codes of conduct and policies.
Our corporate level priorities during recent years have focused on addressing the following issues:
- Sanitary, food and housing - ST’s Workers’ Dormitory Specification defines the housing standards for the maintenance and management of dormitory facilities. Detailed rules relating to amenities, health, safety, security and management guarantee that residences and dormitories are comfortable and pleasant, and that living areas are designed and maintained to ensure an acceptable degree of privacy.
- Working hours - an internal tool has been developed to control overtime, in order for sites to reach full compliance with the EICC standard maximum of 60 hours per week.
- Training and awareness – through training, we aim to ensure that every employee has the appropriate level of awareness and knowledge to respect and promote labor and human rights wherever they operate.
ST sites are also addressing labor issues at a local level:
- Forced labor - local practices and legislation for the hiring or migrant labor has led to passport retention and payment of agency fees becoming commonly accepted practices in several countries including China, Malaysia and Singapore. We are aware of the fact that we operate in countries that may present a potential risk. ST sites have conducted relevant analysis and continuously work on reinforcing their practices and policies.
- Fair recruitment practices for foreign workers - ST Ang Mo Kio (Singapore) has defined and implemented a global due diligence process for employing foreign workers. Recruitment agencies are briefed and trained on ST’s standards and expectations, and their practices are then monitored. This process involves providing candidates with detailed information in their local language and before leaving their home country. This covers terms of employment, employees’ roles and responsibilities, working conditions and their employment rights. New employees then receive a newcomer’s package and training, and are asked for feedback on their recruitment agency’s practices.