Respect for human rights

Respect for Human Rights

Nippon Steel respects human rights and strives to create the working environment which allows diverse human resources to be more empowered.

Basic policy

In compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international norms on human rights, the Nippon Steel Group is in the business of creating and delivering valuable and attractive products and ideas, by respecting our employees' diverse views and individualities and utilizing them for the good of all. Based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Nippon Steel Group Conduct Code has been set. By adhering to its nine principles, Nippon Steel conducts business ethically, while paying full heed to human rights issues arising with the increasing globalization of the economy. Nippon Steel gives due attention to the rights of workers, and staunchly opposes the use of forced or child labor. These are prerequisites of our corporate activities. We have also prohibited as unjust the discriminatory treatment of workers based on nationality, race, belief, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, and disability. In addition, we give careful consideration to the traditions and culture, business practice, and labor practice of each country or region as we accelerate overseas business development.

In order to demonstrate this corporate stance, the Nippon Steel Group has established the Nippon Steel Group Human Rights Policy. This policy was approved by the Board of Directors of Nippon Steel Corporation.

Efforts to prevent human rights abuses

Addressing human rights risks

From the viewpoint of promoting human rights awareness activities by assigning human rights awareness advocates at each steelworks and each office, and of implementing corporate-wide human rights awareness activities, we hold a “corporate-wide forum of human rights awareness advocates” in March each year to exchange views on human rights awareness education and new human rights risks, and to consider the related action policy for the next fiscal year. Based on this, we hold a “corporate-wide forum of human rights anti-discrimination promotion” at the beginning of the fiscal year, chaired by the Executive Officer in charge of Human Resources, with the human resources managers of each steelworks and each office as members. At this forum, the fiscal year's policy for promoting human rights development is determined.

In addition to implementing human rights awareness activities in accordance with the policies decided at the forum, each steelworks and each office are actively engaged in employee awareness-raising activities, including holding workshops on a specific issue of the steelworks or office. We also participate in enlightenment organizations and activities hosted by public entities and others in each community. We do this as concerted efforts for human rights enlightenment with the communities.

Along with the group-wide expansion of our efforts to Group companies in Japan and overseas, monitoring surveys on the status of compliance with labor-related laws and regulations, the establishment of consultation contacts, and other issues are regularly conducted via a checklist on internal controls.

Through these efforts, we are continuously and systematically promoting activities to prevent human rights abuses. This includes the understanding of human rights risks that change with the times and the development of a system and a strategy to reduce the risks.

Informal gathering of employees dispatched from Nippon Steel and local employees of our overseas operating companies

Prevention of forced or child labor

Adhering to international norms concerning forced or child labor, Nippon Steel has the policy of prevention and eradication of both types of labor. We comply with applicable regulations and conduct regular monitoring surveys of our Group companies to prevent such violations in our business activities.

Compliance concerning salaries

In compliance with laws and regulation concerning salary and wages payment, Nippon Steel has set up pay at a higher level than minimum wage stipulated by the country, region, and type of work where we do business. With regard to bonuses, we regularly survey related matters, including the status of each country, region, and type of work, hold serious meetings with the labor union in each time, to appropriately reward employees with due consideration given to business conditions and financial performance.

Human rights awareness education

Based on the policy decided at the “corporate-wide forum of human rights anti-discrimination promotion,” information on human rights awareness is incorporated in training courses for all ranks, from new employees to experienced ones. We also provide education on a variety of subjects, including the issues of harassment and anti-discrimination, understanding of LGBTQ, and human rights issues in the conduct of our business.

Two-way communication with employees based on good labor-management relations is important in order to prevent human rights abuses. We therefore incorporate education toward building sound labor-management relationships in training of executives of the Company and the Group companies.

The number of recipients of
training courses by rank on
human rights (FY2022 results)

Training on human rights

In addition to general education that contributes to the prevention of human rights abuses in workplaces, we also address specific human rights abuse risks in formulating and oversight of specific work assignments. Examples include education on fair recruitment selection by employees assigned to the tasks of hiring in order to prevent job discrimination, and education on cross-cultural understanding and communication for those assigned to overseas business in the context of preventing human rights abuses (i.e., consideration for each country's unique traditions, culture, business practices, and labor-management practices).

Mechanism of corrective actions

We have clarified whom to contact for consultation on various compliance issues including human rights. This is a part of efforts to establish a groupwide claim handling mechanism that makes it easy for employees and related personnel to ask for consultation, and that enables the Company to understand and identify incidents of discrimination.

We accept reports and consultations related to human rights abuses, including harassment, through the contact form on our website. For individual cases, we prioritize protecting the privacy of the reporter or person seeking advice, ensuring they do not face any adverse treatment. Regarding the response to these individual incidents, we investigate the facts and, if necessary, seek advice from outside parties, including lawyers and outside professional organizations, to protect the privacy of the persons and to ensure that they do not receive unfavorable treatment. We then provide guidance and education to those involved, and strive to appropriately resolve the incidents.

Furthermore, since labor-management relations play an important role in preventing human rights abuses and resolving related incidents, in the event of disputes concerning the interpretation of collective agreements, labor-management agreements or other rules directly related to them, a grievance committee is established to resolve the dispute, based on the agreement concerning complaint-handling procedures that has been concluded with the labor union. The committee comprises members from both the management and the labor side.

<Human Rights Inquiry Form>

Communicating with stakeholders

Adhering to laws and the group-company labor agreements, and respecting the rights to organize and to bargain, Nippon Steel strives to maintain sound labor-management relationships. With a focus on mutual understanding through two-way dialogue, we have a place for discussion with labor unions for the entire Company as well as for each steelworks and each office. We discuss the operating and financial performance, safety, health, and production management issues, working conditions such as salaries and bonus payments, balancing of work and personal life, and other issues. Close labor-management communication is also maintained, particularly concerning the actual work cases for which the labor unions received reports from their members. The minutes of these discussions are recorded and shared through the Intranet and other means broadly, from senior management to work union members.

In-house magazines for the entire Company as well as each steelworks and each office are regularly published as a means to send various messages to employees. PR magazines are also published to convey our business and other information outside. Our steelworks and offices also regularly set up a place for dialogue with the nearby residents’ associations to ask for their understanding of our business operations and listen to opinions and requests from them; this is part of what we do to realize better communication with the local community.

Labor-management discussions
59 times for the entire Company
926 times at steelworks and offices
Number of union members and unionized rate
(March 31, 2023)
(100% unionized)

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