The Brownfield Expansion Project in Jamshedpur
It is the largest ever undertaken at the Jamshedpur Works, requiring a large volume of construction work to be carried out by contractors and their workers. The SA8000 auditable framework guides awareness-raising towards improving working conditions with special emphasis on not engaging child or forced labor; ensuring safety and occupational health; strengthening statutory compliances pertaining to payment of wages and working hours, and creating a humane work environment across its operations. These practices in particular have helped secure decent work conditions for the construction workers engaged by contractors in brownfield expansion work.
The Greenfield Expansion Project at Kalinganagar, Odisha
The set-up of Kalinganagar, the 6mtpa Greenfield expansion plant, has brought the displaced families into Tata Steel parivar or ‘family.’ The Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) scheme named Tata Steel Parivar has been designed to provide fair compensation and ensure the displaced families are provided with practical and emotional support to enable them to adapt to their new surroundings.
Working conditions for employees and supply chains are primarily managed through the standard Social Accountability 8000, which is based on the Universa Declaration of Human Rights and International Labour Organisation conventions. Both direct employees and supply chain labour are considered stakeholder groups in the workplace context. Tata Steel Works attained SA8000 certification in 2005 (and got re-certified in 2007 and 2010) to this standard. The Sukinda unit is the first mine to be SA8000 certified. Regular third party and internal audits under SA 8000 are conducted to ensure compliance with not only human rights standards but also other labour practices.
Extending Human Rights Compliance in Supply Chains
All contractors are screened on human rights compliances and are mandated to give consent to compliance to SA8000 clauses and Tata Code of Conduct.
The Company initiated third-party audits in 2005-06 on SA8000 clauses for its principal vendors and suppliers. The Tata Steel SA8000 Vendor Assessment Protocol© was especially formulated for this purpose and, since 2005, has served as the yardstick for compliance measurement on different SA8000 aspects. A comparative rating of vendor capability is generated automatically depending on their scores across the nine clauses. Corrective and preventive actions are then instituted by the vendor and verified by the auditors within a specific time-frame. Improvements have been seen in documentation and record keeping of statutory and basic provisions such as age verification, wages, and attendance register. Some vendors have also instituted internal policies on disciplinary practices and contracting, which were not in place previously.
No Child Labour
Tata Steel employs no child labour. The Company’s recruitment process requires furnishing appropriate proof of age for employment. The SA8000 clause on child labour guides communication to vendors and stakeholders that employment of persons only aged 18 and above is a precondition to partnering with Tata Steel, and that, in the event of discovery of a violation by vendors within or outside the company premises, liabilities for the education of the child until completion of high school will accrue to the defaulting party.
Prevention of Child Labour: Going beyond statutory compliances, the Company supports programmes in the community for mainstreaming school dropouts and assisting in the delivery of better quality of education to prevent children from coming into the labour force.