France Telecom and the Worldwide Trade Union Alliance-UNI sign a worldwide agreement on fundamental social rights in the Group
Paris, December 21, 2006 - France Telecom and the WorldWide Trade Union Alliance-UNI (grouping all the trade union organizations present within the company which are members of Union Network International) have signed an agreement in which the Group undertakes to implement a worldwide social policy which respects fundamental social rights and individual freedoms. Building on the Group’s signature of the UN Global Compact, this agreement is part of the corporate social responsibility approach implemented by France Telecom in all countries where the Group is present.
Under the terms of this agreement, France Telecom is committed in particular to:
* Respect for fundamental human rights. France Telecom will take particular care to prevent the use of forced labour, prohibit child labour and exploitation, combat discrimination, ensure health and safety in the work place, respect people’s freedom to join a trade union or not and favour collective social dialogue with trade union organizations and/or employee representatives.
* The implementation of dynamic labour policies. In particular, the Group will encourage international mobility, access to training, work time management, the implementation of a fair remuneration policy ensuring equity between men and women.
* The application of ethical guidelines in its relations with suppliers and subcontractors. In line with the France Telecom Group Code of Ethics and its support for the Global Compact, all employees ensure compliance with the principles of fairness, integrity and objectivity in their relations with suppliers and subcontractors.
To facilitate labour relations, France Telecom and UNI undertake to hold prior discussions before any external communication, if certain principles in this agreement appear not to be respected.
With this initiative, France Telecom is reaffirming its commitment to facilitating dialogue with all relevant stakeholders: staff, trade union organizations, employee associations, professional bodies, the State and shareholders.
This agreement, which applies to all the companies controlled by the France Telecom Group, will be monitored regularly by the signatories at half-yearly meetings. Fully aware that this is an important commitment, France Telecom will inform its suppliers and subcontractors that this agreement has been signed.
For Olivier Barberot, Executive Vice President in charge of the France Telecom Group’s Human Resources, “this approach is giving substance to our ambition in terms of corporate social responsibility and is contributing to sustainable development of the France Telecom Group. The agreement signed today marks a new phase in labour relations on a scale with our international development”.
About France Telecom
France Telecom, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, serves more than 153 million customers on five continents (220 countries or territories) as of September 30, 2006 and had consolidated sales of 49 billion euros by IFRS standards in 2005 (38.4 billion euros for the year-to-date at September 30, 2006). Launched in June 2005, the NExT program (New Experience in Telecommunications) will allow the Group to pursue its transformation as an integrated operator and to make France Telecom the benchmark for new telecommunications services in Europe. On June 2006, Orange thus became the Group’s single brand for Internet, television and mobile in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain, and Orange Business Services the brand name for the services offered to businesses worldwide. France Telecom is number two mobile operator and provider of Internet services in Europe and amongst the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies. France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris Eurolist market and on the New York Stock Exchange.
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