Fair working conditions

18 May 2021
All employees, irrespective of their role, location, type of employment, or length of service, have a right to fair working conditions.

We safeguard fairness in employment conditions and encourage companies within our value chain to do the same.

The right thing to do

Equitable conditions of employment are crucial for the peace and well-being of society, and are central to a sustainable and prosperous future for all. On matters of employment, poor representation of the views of employees could impair pay and living conditions.

The business case

For PMI, achieving our vision of a sustainable smoke-free future starts with our people. Our business model relies on employee engagement, satisfaction, loyalty, skills, and manufacturing quality. We view our current transformation as an opportunity to bolster productivity and promote the motivation and engagement of our employees. Management engages regularly and at all levels with employees, helping to promote the inclusive culture that’s critical to our success. In the absence of fair working conditions, productivity and efficient operations can be at risk, especially within the context of rapid change. Upstream, fair labor practices are also fundamental to securing supplies of tobacco leaf and other materials in a responsible and sustainable way.

Fair working conditions is a tier 2 topic within our strategic pillar Caring for the people we work with.

Caring for the people we work with blue

Our progress in 2020

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PMI manufacturing facility Brazil

Topic description

For PMI, fair working conditions are defined as conducting effective labor relations through ongoing engagement and social dialogue, promoting freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

Achieving our aims

Our ambition is to be an employer of choice wherever we operate in the world, ensuring that our employees are offered fair working conditions. We are committed to respecting all internationally recognized human rights in accordance with the United Nations (U.N.) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Treating people with respect and dignity is central to the fundamental principles that guide our business conduct and unite us at PMI.

We are determined to uphold high diligence in recognizing employee rights and fostering stable and collaborative labor relations practices. We are committed to respecting the rights of employees to form or join trade unions and other employee representative organizations of their choice. We promote cooperation on matters of mutual concern and observe high standards of employment and labor relations.

PMI can only be a sustainable business if the significant changes in our working environment and labor practices are communicated and delivered clearly, fairly, and honestly, particularly during this time of transition. These changes affect everyone, including our own workforce, our suppliers, and our customers.

Ralf Zysk, PMI Global Head, People Sustainability & Employee Relations, Philip Morris International

In line with our Human Rights Commitment and the International Labour Organization’s standards on effective labor relations, our Workplace Integrity policy guides the work led by our People & Culture teams (our human resources function) globally.

We ensure our employees are informed of their rights by our local People & Culture teams, our Guidebook for Success, and related principles and practices, namely “workplace integrity” and collective labor agreements. Our Senior Vice President, People & Culture is accountable for fair working conditions, supported by his team.

Workplace integrity principles at PMI

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Workplace integrity principles at PMI

We strive to maintain an environment that is inclusive, safe, and professional. We promote a diverse and inclusive organization and make all employment-related decisions based on merit. We do not tolerate any of the following in the workplace or other work-related settings: Harassment, discrimination, abuse or misuse of company assets or resources, violence, or the misuse of alcohol or drugs. We do not engage in or condone child labor or forced labor. We encourage effective engagement and dialogue with employees and their representatives.

Constructive engagement with employee representatives serves as a bedrock of effective labor relations. In addition to employees, stakeholders involved daily in such engagements include trade unions and works councils, at the local, regional (e.g., European Works Council), and global (for example, IUF) levels. 

We also promote fair working conditions throughout our supply chain. Our Responsible Sourcing Principles set the requirements we expect suppliers to follow in relation to fair conditions for their employees. In our tobacco supply chain, our Agricultural Labor Practices code includes clear principles and measurable standards that recognize the right of farmworkers to fair treatment, clear terms of employment, and freedom of association (read more here).

Caring for the people we work with blue

Our progress in 2020

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Caring for the people we work with blue

Performance metrics

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This online content about our Integrated Report should be read in conjunction with PMI’s 2020 Integrated Report. The information and data presented here cover the 2020 calendar year or reflect status at December 31, 2020, worldwide, unless otherwise indicated. Where not specified, data come from PMI estimates. Please also refer to 'About this report' on page 3 of the 2020 Integrated Report for more information. Aspirational targets and goals do not constitute financial projections, and achievement of future results is subject to risks, uncertainties and inaccurate assumptions, as outlined in our forward-looking and cautionary statements on page 145. In the 2020 Integrated Report and in related communications, the terms “materiality,” “material,” and similar terms, when used in the context of economic, environmental, and social topics, are defined in the referenced sustainability standards and are not meant to correspond to the concept of materiality under the U.S. securities laws and/or disclosures required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


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