Volkswagen AG - Essay Example

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As one of the leaders in world automobile manufacturing and the largest car producer in Europe (The Group 2011), Volkswagen AG has come to an understanding that a successful company is the one that works in cooperation with its hosting societies, respects human rights, and cares about the future of the planet…
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Volkswagen AG
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Download file to see previous pages Our company was founded in 1904 (History 2011), and since that time we have gone through a great number of changes and developed a series of strategies to help us be a socially responsible company that employs around 370,000 people globally (Human Resources 2011). Therefore, on the basis of our vast experience operating internationally we would like to provide the local network with a number of recommendations on how other companies can become as socially responsible, for the benefit of both the companies and the global society. In particular, we would like to address the following two principles of the Global Compact: Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. (UN Global Compact 2011). Lessons Learnt Our company takes active part in initiatives aimed at human rights protection. We respect and support people’s right to collective bargaining. In particular, the freedom of association and our employees’ right to collective bargaining have had a significantly positive impact on the company’s operations in the 1990s. Due to financial constraints, at that time Volkswagen was about to fire a great number of company’s employees. ...
On contrast, failure to follow collective agreements and cooperate with unions and associations may lead to disastrous results for a company. In particular, one of our competitors, General Motors Corporation (GM), had to undergo through a series of court trials as a result of denial to support human rights. In 2005, as the Delphi Corporation, a former part of General Motors Corporation, filed bankruptcy and refused to fulfil its defined benefit plans. The plans, including retirement plans for former Delphi employees, were terminated and GM cancelled and terminated all the obligations under the old collective bargaining agreements. In 2009 GM, finally, did sign a settlement agreement. However, it “did not provide top-ups to the splinter unions or to any other noncovered employees” (Bovbjerg and Clowers 2011). We, at Volkswagen AG, believe such behaviour of the company to be unacceptable in terms of the recognition of the right to collective bargaining. Furthermore, such actions lead to negative consequences for both the company and the society: the company’s image is damaged, and people are left without any benefits provided by collective bargaining agreements. As for the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, Volkswagen AG can proudly claim that it is taking numerous measures to follow this Global Compact principle. In particular, among our CSR initiatives is advancing women and promoting diversity in the workplace. More than 30% of our employees are women, and we are actively working towards increasing this number. In addition, we are striving to increase the number of women in management positions (Advancing women ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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