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How do you adapt social dialogue in a group that operates worldwide, in countries with a tremendous diversity of cultural, social and political practices?


Veolia is a group with a rich local and global history. We consider ourselves to be a multi-territory international business. This identity is reflected in the social dialogue practices we have worked hard to put in place over many years. The result is a social dialogue system specifically tailored to suit each level:

  • at Group level we work through the France and European works councils. They have been established by agreement and are key actors in the process of driving transformation at Veolia. Veolia’s European Works Council represents over two-thirds of our employees;
  • at country level, employer-employee information and consultation bodies work on all issues of national importance;
  • at company or site level, the natural place for negotiations on numerous issues impacting employees’ day-to-day lives, we have over 1,000 local agreements that supplement the numerous Group-wide directives and agreements. These agreements are tracked and analyzed by the Group in terms of safety, pay and social benefits, working organization, skills and social dialogue. 

 Backing up these arrangements are a series of social policy commitments made by the Group as part of its human resources strategy and roadmap. These commitments are then transmitted to all regions where we operate so they can be appropriated by each country. Local teams are responsible for rolling them out as action plans through a process of social dialogue with local partners, in full compliance with national laws. We use performance indicators to track our efforts to meet the commitments, which cover a range of topics: workplace safety, skills development to accompany the Group’s transformation, employee actions to promote diversity and inclusion, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and social dialogue as a driver for economic and social performance.

Veolia has signed up to the Global Deal, a platform initiated by the government of Sweden, supported by the French Labor Ministry and developed with the ILO and the OECD, founding partners in the initiative. The Global Deal exists to address the challenges of globalization and the global labor market, bolstering fairness and responsibility through social dialogue. Veolia is an active member of the Global Deal France working groups, tackling issues including the future of work and how new skills are developing.