Partnership story

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Cooperation (GTZ) to improve occupational health and safety in Volkswagen’s supply chain

Summary

The Better Health and Safety for Suppliers project is a partnership project between Volkswagen, ILO and the German Corporation for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). The project was launched in July 2004 and will be concluded in June 2008. The partners’ common goal is to establish a health and safety culture at work by means of improving labour standards.

Volkswagen chose to address this issue because the company wanted to strengthen its policy in Health Protection, Promotion and Occupational Safety. One of Volkswagen’s major aims of the project is to improve the overall OSH knowledge and to identify best practices through project activities and the social partner network.

The project’s origins can be traced back to 2004, when the ILO approached Volkswagen regarding cooperation in the area of OSH. The ILO cited the company’s innovative policies and progressive thinking on OSH protection and promotion as reasons why Volkswagen should consider getting involved.

Under the project, a high-level tripartite committee composed of representatives of the three partners—Volkswagen, ILO, GTZ—the Overall Steering Committee (OSC), gives broad direction and approves the general work plan, the process optimisation approach to OSH, as well as any progress made in this regard. The OSC also approves the composition of the National Steering Committees (NSC) for each country in the project. The NSC for each country is the national body that approves the project work plan and provides direction to the project activities. It is composed of government, representatives of employers and workers and representatives from Volkswagen, ILO and GTZ.