Statnett has uncovered several instances of serious labor crime in its projects, and there are regularly instances of less serious deviations concerning salaries, vacation pay, working hours and similar issues.
-This is obviously a completely unacceptable situation for us. Treating everyone working in our projects seriously, is a matter of values and ethics. Therefore, we have gathered our largest suppliers behind ten clear and non-negotiable expectations that they need to follow up to fight unethical and illegal treatment of workers in all links of the supply chain. We are satisfied that the suppliers subscribe to these expectations, says CEO Auke Lont of Statnett.
Statnett invited top level executives from a selection of 16 of its largest suppliers to a workshop in order to present its clear expectations. Representatives from the Federation of Construction Industries, the Electrical and IT workers Union and the Ministry of Labor and Social Relations gave presentations at the workshop. The message was unison and clear – a decent job market is a priority and requires a joint effort from all parties.
In the document presented at the workshop, it is clearly described which efforts need to be taken from the suppliers to meet Statnett's expectations. They need to ensure thorough vetting of sub-suppliers, ensure tight control and make trustline systems available. The suppliers are expected to establish a good dialogue with workers both in their own company and at sub-suppliers. The suppliers must ensure that everyone working at Statnett sites are familiar with their rights, and establish trust with the workers, to facilitate whistle-blowing.
-Trust is a basic prerequisite for uncovering and combatting labor crime. We must remember that we are talking about people's lives and livelihoods. That requires us to take the problems seriously and act resolutely when we uncover illegal practices. As much as we must make sure that everyone arrives safely from site, we need to ensure that they have trust in our ability to prioritize a decent labor market, underlines Auke Lont.
At the workshop, all suppliers expressed that they subscribe to Statnett's expectations. The expectations will be communicated to all of Statnett's suppliers. At the same time, Statnett will review its contracts to see if the requirements in the contracts need to be firmer. The controls and audits will continue with undiminished intensity.
-We are happy to have our suppliers on board. Until now, the serious cases have been uncovered by us. Now, we also expect our suppliers to be able to both prevent and uncover illegal and unethical practices. Should new cases arise, we expect them to be resolved resolutely and unconditionally, says the CEO of Statnett.
At the workshop, top level executives from ABB, Siemens, Nexans, GE, Prysmian, Peab, Veidekke, Jacobsen Elektro, Rebaioli, Dalekovod, H&MV Engineering, Valard, Elecnor and Implenia participated.