Electrolux investigation into the events that took place at its facility in Juarez, Mexico, in April 2020, has been concluded.
In April 2020, approximately 125 employees (out of a total of 4,800) at Electrolux manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico, engaged in protests against the company’s approach to the rapid spread of coronavirus in the community. In the earliest days of the pandemic and when little was known globally about best practices, these employees demanded that Electrolux should halt operations in Juarez and/or implement more stringent safety measures.
Local management sought to engage in dialogue about which measures had been and were about to be implemented, and urged the employees in question to adhere to the pandemic safety guidelines at the facility to ensure the safety of all 4,800 employees. The dialogue however failed to resolve the situation and ultimately ended in the termination of 99 employees who refused to follow the safety guidelines and return to work.
Electrolux has now conducted an internal investigation of these events, supported by an independent third-party assessment and in dialogue with Group trade union representatives. Based on the investigation, Electrolux has concluded:
- Regarding the implementation of health and safety measures, local management acted as swiftly and comprehensively as could be expected in relation to local needs, regulations and the company’s COVID guidelines.
- Regarding the terminations, it should be emphasized – and is noted in the third-party assessment – that management faced an unprecedented set of circumstances and unknowns. With a strong focus of ensuring the safety guideline enforcement and the health and safety of all 4,800 employees at the site, decisions were therefore taken and executed rapidly. While this is understandable given the circumstances, the process can not be considered to have been fully aligned with the Electrolux Group Workplace Directive.
Even though Electrolux acted legally and these employees were terminated for cause, the company does recognize that the events escalated in an unfortunate way. The company has therefore engaged in dialogues with the former employees on an individual basis in an effort to fully and finally resolve any disputes related to the termination. Furthermore, Electrolux will review existing policies, routines and training programs to ensure the Workplace Directive can be followed even in very challenging situations.
Read more about Electrolux Code of Conduct and related Group policies here.
For further information please contact the Electrolux Media Hotline: +46-8-657 6507.