Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Our success as a company is tied to the passion, knowledge and talent of our global team. To achieve our vision of being the best operated and most valued company in the industry, we must attract top performers and equip them with the tools needed to continuously grow and leverage their potential. We believe in integrity, diversity and fairness, and we focus on creating a work environment that is safe, respectful and inspires employees to strive for excellence.
As a minimum, we provide all workers with fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value and uphold all applicable fair wage laws, wherever we work. We pay wages that meet or exceed the legally required wage or local industry standard. Full-time and part-time employees also receive a wide variety of benefits based on geographic location, applicable local and national law, and labor, or works council agreements. We offer a variety of Global Family-Friendly programs including the ability to work from home or an alternate worksite, paid parental leave, and an adoption reimbursement. We engage in open and ongoing dialogue with employees and their representatives to ensure a proper balance between the best interests of the company and its employees.
Exceptional performance, dedication to safety, attendance and years of service are recognized in many ways, including annual bonuses and special cash awards; share points that may be redeemed for merchandise; awards based on years of service; and our corporate Excellence Awards, which are the highest honor an employee can receive.
A talented and diverse workforce is a key competitive advantage. We believe employees of different genders and from many different cultural, linguistic and national backgrounds provide us with valuable perspectives and different ideas, which results in better decision-making and more creative solutions. We are committed to valuing and respecting each other’s backgrounds, experience and ideas, enabling everyone to be themselves and achieve their potential, creating an environment in which people of all backgrounds want to work, making people decisions on merit and without bias, and driving measurable change in the diversity of our workforce at all levels, including leadership.
We respect the rights of workers to form and join trade unions of their own choosing, to bargain collectively, and to peacefully assemble as permitted under applicable law. We also respect the rights of workers to choose to refrain from such activities. We recognize the right of workers to share ideas and concerns with management, free of fear of reprisal, and we never tolerate reprisals or retribution against anyone who lodges a complaint or concern in good faith. As of December 31, 2019, approximately 900 of our employees in the U.S. were represented by labor unions. The vast majority of our employees in Europe and Latin America are subject to staff council or works council coverage or collective bargaining agreements.
Being a responsible, good neighbor in the communities where we operate is embedded in our mission. We provide jobs that create economic value and we hire locally where possible. We also support economic growth and job creation throughout our supply chain by purchasing goods and services locally.