Good formal arrangements for dialogue between management and employee representatives are important to ensure collaboration on business strategy and appropriate handling of matters affecting employee interests.
Employees are represented on Orkla’s Board of Directors and in other governing bodies. All the business areas have established liaison committees between management and representatives elected from among the employees. The role of these committees is to exchange information and discuss matters of relevance for the individual business area. The Orkla companies have a variety of systems for dialogue and employee consultation, and most of them have established formal joint management- employee bodies. Organisational changes that could affect employees’ employment conditions are discussed with the employee representatives, and the procedures for such discussions are laid down in the collective collaborative agreements entered into between the management of and the trade unions in the individual companies.
In 2015, a new Group agreement was drawn up between Orkla and the employee organisations, represented by Orkla’s Committee of Union Representatives. The agreement is based on the provisions of the Norwegian basic collective agreement between employers’ and employee organisations, and regulates the way the Group complies with the obligations relating to collaborative arrangements laid down in national legislation and agreements, and the obligations pursuant to the current EEA agreement. In the light of Orkla’s systems for management-employee interaction, the risk of a breach of the right of freedom of association and collective agreements is considered to be low. In 2016, Orkla will further develop its collaboration with the employee organisations in accordance with the new Group agreement entered into in 2015. The Group wishes to contribute to fulfilling the intentions set out in the new agreement with regard to strengthening the exchange of information and promoting more efficient and effective cooperation.
The main topics of the dialogue between Orkla’s management and employee representatives in 2015 were Orkla’s vision and values and the restructuring processes carried out in the Group. During the year, several companies were acquired and changes were made in the manufacturing structure that have entailed changes in the Group’s company structure. Larger companies and production units have been established, and some production sites have been closed. The purpose of these changes is to improve the Group’s competitiveness by creating a more efficient organisational structure, enhancing expertise on important business processes and developing strong companies with a good corporate culture. Management at corporate and company level have involved the employee representatives in the implementation of the organisational changes through regular consultation meetings. The Group has provided support for adaptation measures to help employees made redundant to find new employment.