International agreement to prevent sexual harassment

The IUF has signed an international agreement with the French-based catering and services provider Sodexo on measures to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.

The IUF-Sodexo Joint Commitment, based on a shared recognition that sexual harassment is a human rights violation and that women working in the services are exposed to high levels of risk, sets out a policy and procedures for ensuring zero tolerance.

NU HRCT has been involved in the whole negotiation process as our ground work on sexual harassment with in the hotel, restaurant, catering and tourism sector (link to report).  A working group was established following the IUF/Sodexo meeting last November, where NU HRCT raised the issue and advocated for a joint IUF-Sodexo position statement on preventing sexual harassment. 

The Joint Commitment acknowledges that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, a major health and safety hazard and a form of violence which disproportionately affects women. It provides a comprehensive description of what constitutes sexual harassment and establishes a framework for awareness-raising, training, reporting and procedures which protect the victims of sexual harassment and those reporting incidents. 

The agreement will be implemented at local and national level through engagement between Sodexo management and IUF-affiliated unions, and the text establishes a regular international review procedure. 

This joint statement can also serve as a bargaining chip in the future, in order to get other similar multinational catering companies in the sector to negotiate zero tolerance policies and procedures with the IUF and its affiliates.


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The Nordic Union for Hotel, Restaurant, Catering and Tourism sector, is an association of unions in Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, all of which unionise workers of the HRCT industry. The member unions have all made collective agreements with employers organizations and companies in the NU HRCT.

All in all NU HRCT covers seven unions with a total of about 115,000 members.