Heinz strives to maintain a good working relationship with labor unions across each of our business units. The Company has a history of negotiating fair and competitive contracts that provide family-sustaining jobs and wages. As of the end of this reporting period, 60% of Heinz hourly employees in the United States and Canada were covered by collective bargaining agreements.
Health and safety also are addressed in the Company’s labor contracts, covering topics such as Health and Welfare Benefits, Wellness, Disability Coverage, Safety Committees and Personal Protective Equipment. Additionally, the unions play an active role on Health and Safety Committees that help Heinz to attain high standards of safety compliance and performance. When labor challenges arise, we work collaboratively with our employees to address those issues.
Our good relationships with labor unions and employees help drive safety in the factory. Every factory has an Employee Health and Safety Committee, comprised of local management and employees, that strives to create and improve safe working conditions and to prevent workplace accidents. Each factory is scored on reducing its total incident rate, which is based on the number of injuries reported to the local safety authority, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Ministry of Labor in a year. This encourages hourly employees and unions to foster a continuous-improvement mentality.
All of our plants with union-represented employees in the United States and Canada have labor-management committees comprised of local management, union representatives and bargaining unit employees. The groups meet regularly to cooperatively improve plant working conditions and to foster continuous improvement in a non-adversarial manner.
Most of the Heinz North America factories have implemented hourly employee incentive plans to tie more closely to factory performance, and all factories now utilize scorecards to provide employees with metrics used to measure factory success and to identify areas for improvement. Additionally, all factories are engaged in implementing the Heinz Global Performance System, which empowers employees to become more self-directed and to work in teams to improve performance, safety and conditions within their work areas.
In the U.K., labor relations remain positive with collective bargaining arrangements working well and the majority of pay agreements being settled at first ballot, as they provided competitive terms.