Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Freight and Logistics Giant Praised at Home for Equality Opportunities But.....

.........Abroad the News is Not So Good
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY - TURKEY - Freight and logistics behemoth Deutsche Post DHL announced today that it has been honoured with the Total E-Quality award for the fifth consecutive year in recognition of human resources policies that are designed to create equal opportunities for women and men. The award, presented every three years by the organisation *Total E-Quality Deutschland e.V., recognises companies and organisations that demonstrably promote the work, abilities and qualifications of women. Currently 47% of the workforce for DHL in Germany is female. Angela Titzrath, Board Member for Personnel at Deutsche Post DHL said:

"Real equal opportunity is an integral part of our corporate culture. The company's repeated recognition serves as a clear demonstration of the long-term success of our diversity strategy and of our far-reaching effort to develop collaborative working relationships in the company and create a work-life balance."

The award, in particular, recognises the effort and continuity that the company uses to systematically promote equal opportunity for men and women as well as a work-life balance. The comprehensive range of family-support programs offered by the company was applauded in particular. The ‘vacancy commitment’ effort of Deutsche Post DHL was singled out for praise as well. As part of this effort, the Group has pledged to fill between 25% and 30% of all vacant positions in management with women.

The award jury noted that from DHL’s equal-opportunity concept for women and men in 1998 to the recalibration of diversity management, the company has been guided by its fundamental desire to create a working environment characterized by fairness and team spirit for its employees around the world and in doing so, DHL acts as a best-practice company that is committed to promoting equal opportunity and family friendliness in the society.

The award comes at a time when the group is being much criticised for double standards, particularly by union groups over accusations regarding the company’s workers if employed other than in Germany. Last month union representatives from the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and UNI Europa joined Turkish workers representative Tumtis president Kenan Ozturk at a press conference and issued a series of statements saying:

"People claim that Turkey is not ready to join the European Union but it seems in fact that it is European companies operating in Turkey who are not ready. They appear unwilling to adopt the same labour standards in Turkey that they do elsewhere in the EU. It is a fundamental right to join and organise a trade union free from intimidation. In Germany companies take labour rights and respect for unions very seriously but what we see at Deutsche Post-DHL is that across borders, even where these fundamental rights should be guaranteed, DHL is ignoring them in Turkey, Belgium and elsewhere. This is why we need a global framework agreement to guarantee rights wherever Deutsche Post-DHL operates.”

The Turkish dispute centres around the dismissal of twenty workers allegedly for union organising activities, something the company denies. The unions have erected a website laying out their case and another with the sacked workers comments whilst accusing DHL Turkey of bullying and intimidation and stating that the country’s labour Courts have found against the company in every case to little effect.

* Herr Walter Scheurle, Deutsche Post AG's Director of Human Resources sits on the board of Trustees at Total E-Quality.