Labour Relations

Wilmar’s No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy conveys our strong commitment to protect the rights of workers, who are an essential part of our business. Hence, to further strengthen our position, we have developed and put in place relevant policies, guided by international standards as set out in the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, UN Global Compact (UNGC), International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions, the UK Modern Slavery Act and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its covenants.

Our workers are the backbone of our company, to which we have the responsibility of ensuring that we provide them with a decent and safe place to live and work. We have put in a lot of effort and systems in place in order to promote a more harmonious work and social relations in our operations. We have also invested significantly in infrastructure such as roads, housing, water, sanitation and schools, to provide a more conducive working and living environments for our workers and their families.

Wilmar has also formalised collaborations with industry stakeholders to find viable long-term solutions to labour challenges in the palm oil industry.


Living and Working in Wilmar Plantations, March 2017



We recognise the important role unions play in improving worker-management engagement and to ensure healthy industrial relations. We also recognise that unions serve as effective mechanisms for raising grievances, as well as providing input on how to solve issues relevant to workers. We respect the right of employees to collective bargaining and the right to form and join trade unions of their choice. In the absence of a proper collective agreement or association, workers are free to join any other unions. As at end December 2021, 97% of our eligible employees worldwide are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Examples of our work with unions can be found in the following external sources: 

Please refer to our Resource Library for additional information on our work with unions.

While focus and efforts to address labour issues faced by rural workers throughout the agricultural sector are growing, systemic challenges persist. Private sector in the oil palm industry came to realize that they cannot resolve these challenges individually. Companies including Wilmar, Cargill, Golden Agri Resources (GAR), Musim Mas and Sime Darby Plantations began working together since March 2018 to find a solution under the Decent Rural Living initiative, convened by Forum for the Future, an independent non-profit working with private and public organizations to solve complex sustainability challenges.

Please refer to the Press Release for further information.

Wilmar formalised a collaboration with Verité South East Asia, a non-profit organisation focused on labour rights in April 2017. Through this partnership, we are collaborating to develop sustainable solutions to systemic labour problems existing in the Indonesian palm oil sector as well as ensure sustained company-wide conformance to social standards and to legal and customer requirements.

Please refer to the Press Release for further information.

Business Social Responsibility (BSR), in collaboration with Wilmar and other palm oil buyers comprising of Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Unilever,  committed to take collective action to improve working conditions and livelihoods of workers across the wider palm oil supply chain in Indonesia.

Commencing in November 2017, BSR has conducted a series of supplier workshops in the major palm oil producing regions in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Tailored for the medium and small suppliers, the workshops were designed to heighten awareness on wages, employment contract status and grievance mechanisms.

Please refer to the Press Release for further information.

Closer collaboration is required from all stakeholders in the palm oil sector to help find improvements and solutions to existing labour challenges.

Wilmar collaborated with Golden Agri Resources (GAR) and BSR in November 2016 to review current labour practices, policies and regulations in the palm oil sector in Indonesia, with the intention to formulate practical approaches to improving labour practices and conditions.

Please refer to the Press Release for further information.

Wilmar is a member of the RSPO Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), which was established in 2014 and is now a part of the RSPO structure. The work of the HRWG is directly linked to the globally accepted UN Guidelines on Business and Human rights (the "Ruggie Framework"). Wilmar is actively participating in the HRWG Labour Taskforce, addressing the rights of plantation workers and vulnerable groups such as migrant workers and casual workers, as well as issues including the promotion of living wages, health and safety conditions at plantations and freedom of association.

Since August 2017, through the Labour Taskforce, we have also strongly supported the RSPO's development of a definition and methodology for a sector-specific living wage standard, for public consultation and consideration by the RSPO/P&C Taskforce.

Please refer to the RSPO website for further information.