Ford’s Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibility, or Policy Letter 24, applies to our own facilities as well as those of our joint venture partners and suppliers. Between 2004 and 2010, we conducted 53 formal assessments of Ford facilities and joint venture facilities. During 2011, we revised Policy Letter 24 and did not conduct any assessments. In 2012, we conducted four assessments, and in 2013, we plan on conducting five.
Sites are selected for assessment by Ford’s Sustainability and Environmental Policy, Global Labor Affairs and Supply Chain Sustainability functions based on the sites’ impact on our supply chain, emerging issues, and the views of thought leaders, nongovernmental organization representatives and human rights activists.
The process for assessing Ford facilities includes a questionnaire completed by facility management and a detailed review of documents related to the full range of working conditions issues (e.g., collective bargaining agreements, grievance procedure logs, employee hotline records, and health and safety audit reports).
The findings of the questionnaire and document review serve as the basis for interviews with facility management. Where procedures and/or documentation are lacking, or where we feel it would otherwise be valuable, the assessments also include facility visits.
The findings of the assessments are initially shared with human rights organizations with which Ford works and are then published on our website. We have sought the opinions of neutral third parties who have visited plants and/or reviewed the assessment process, and they have agreed that the process is robust and has integrity.
The findings of the past assessments confirmed that Ford’s wholly and majority-owned facilities are operating in compliance with Policy Letter 24.
We continue to receive positive feedback from external stakeholders about the policies and systems in place at Ford facilities. While we and our stakeholders have confidence in our systems, we nonetheless believe it is important to continue conducting the assessments given that conditions can change and new issues emerge.
For information on working conditions in our supply chain, see the section on Human Rights in the Supply Chain: Ford’s Global Working Conditions Program.