Sodexo and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tourism, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), the global trade union federation for workers throughout the food chain, have signed a declaration of intent on health and safety, reinforcing their commitments and priorities to promote the rights of employees to a safe and healthy working environment.

Sodexo and the IUF have long been committed to health and safety, and the context of the Covid-19 pandemic had provided the catalyst to formalize that commitment. 

The declaration of intent will see Sodexo and the IUF collaborate to raise awareness around health and safety priorities, reinforce commitments and foster advancement on this critical topic across the entire food and hospitality industry. It will allow Sodexo and the IUF to bring together the perspectives of corporations, unions, affiliates, and workers in the industry to enhance standards. 

This is the first declaration of intent on health and safety in the industry and builds further on the relationship between Sodexo and the IUF, which includes the 2011 international framework agreement on fundamental rights for human beings and the 2017 joint commitment to preventing sexual harassment.

Denis Machuel, Chief Executive Officer, Sodexo, said: “The declaration of intent is a critical step towards collectively restating that ensuring our employees’ health and safety is pivotal to everything we do and the way we work at Sodexo. Together with the IUF, we are committed to partner with unions, employee representatives and clients to raise the bar on health and safety standards and help drive improvements across the industry.”

Sue Longley, General Secretary IUF, continued: “Health and safety has always been a priority for workers, but the Covid-19 pandemic has underlined its fundamental importance and the need for joint union-management action. We are delighted to join Sodexo in announcing this ground-breaking declaration that will promote action at all levels – local, national and global.”

Sarah Perry, Human Resources Director, Sodexo UK and Ireland, added: “The key to our success as a business is maintaining an environment focussed on safety, health and wellbeing. The Covid-19 pandemic has truly highlighted the need to keep all our colleagues safe which is of utmost importance. This declaration emphasises our ongoing commitment to the continuous improvement of safety, health and wellbeing for all our Sodexo colleagues.”

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