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Human rights compliance

Our mines operate in highly diverse social, economic and political environments, including locations where human rights may not be fully recognized or protected. Each location has a different cultural context, faces different risks of negative human rights impacts and encounters different expectations from their respective host communities, Governments and key stakeholders. No company of our scale can eliminate all human rights risks linked to its operations. By putting in place transparent and effective mechanisms to implement our policy we aim to not only minimize our exposure to human rights impacts, but also facilitate access to remedy and contribute to a greater awareness and understanding of the importance of upholding human rights.

Labor relations

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes workers’ rights to collective bargaining and to take action to protect their interests. At Barrick we see the ability to unionize, the provision of fair wages, benefits and reasonable working hours not only as part of a commitment to human rights, but as important elements in building a motivated and satisfied workforce.

Management approach

Labor relations

We respect the rights of all workers to freedom of association, collective bargaining and peaceful process. Our Human Rights Policy commits us to upholding the International Labor Organization Core Conventions and we engage with trade unions in an honest and constructive way.

Transparent two-way communication is at the heart of our approach to labor relations. We keep our people updated on important Company information through our intranet, targeted announcements and face-to-face meetings. We offer a range of communication channels to enable employees, unionized or not, to openly express genuine concerns openly with the support of their colleagues and without fear of reprisal. These include both public forums such as town hall meetings or digital platforms and private forums such as our whistleblower hotline. We also encourage Senior Executives, including Human Resource Executives, General Managers and our CEO to be involved in key industrial relations discussions.

At our mines in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and the DRC, labor representatives are invited to attend the relevant mine’s quarterly Board Meetings and are consulted on key business decision-making processes, including cost reviews. For those operations where there are collective bargaining agreements in place, we respect minimum notice periods regarding communicating operational changes and invite regular feedback from labor representatives.

Fair wages
We take a country-based approach to salaries, compensation and benefits. We offer competitive and locally-appropriate benefits that range from healthcare, to 24-month interest free loans that help workers on mines in Sub-Saharan Africa to buy transportation.

2018 Performance

Approximately 38% of employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements in 2018 across both legacy Companies. This includes 3,400 employees (23% of employees) at legacy Barrick sites and approximately 3,900 employees at former Randgold1 (85% of employees).

At legacy Barrick sites in 2018, relations with labor unions were strong with no significant issues. However, there were some significant disputes at three former Randgold sites in West Africa in 2018.

In Mali, three short strikes took place at Loulo and two at Gounkoto. At Tongon, in Côte d’Ivoire, negotiations regarding employee benefits broke down twice during the year, when the local union demanded a benefit package that included a seven-month bonus guaranteed every year. The breakdown led to a strike in April and a lock out in July and August. In total, 122 days (11 at Loulo-Gounkoto and 112 at Tongon) were lost due to strikes or lockouts during 2018.

1The right to freedom of association is enshrined in law in all host countries of former Randgold mines. We estimate that approximately 85% of former Randgold employees are union members with the remaining 15% set apart only due to a long-term incentive program introduced to identify them as senior employees.

Indigenous people

Indigenous people image

Indigenous people often have profound and special connections to, and identification with, lands and waters and these can be tied to their physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being. Respecting the values, needs and concerns of indigenous peoples in our site activities is core to the way we do business and helps us develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with those affected by our activities.

Management approach

Four of our operating sites – Goldstrike, Turquoise Ridge, Cortez and Hemlo, and two projects at the Pascua-Lama and Donlin Gold projects - are located near the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. We have agreed arrangements in place with indigenous peoples at all these sites, except for Pascua-Lama. Both Barrick Nevada and Hemlo have also developed and are implementing an Indigenous Peoples Plan that outlines specific actions to engage, address impacts and provide opportunities to local indigenous peoples.

New projects and significant expansions of operations located on lands traditionally owned by, or under the customary rights of, indigenous peoples must also align their activities with the ICMM Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples and Mining. As a Company, Barrick is committed to working with Governments and other partners to shape the process for achieving free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from significantly impacted indigenous peoples for new projects and major changes to existing projects, aligned with the ICMM Position Statement.

2018 Performance

There were no major incidents or violations of rights involving indigenous populations at our sites in 2018. We enjoyed many good relations, such as those described in the case study: ‘Our ongoing partnership with the Western Shoshone Community’.

Gender diversity and anti-discrimination

We believe that diversity, including gender diversity, helps build a stronger workforce and improved business performance, so it is disappointing that mining continues to be a male-dominated industry. We also recognize sexual harassment as a risk that must be pro-actively managed.

Management approach

We are committed to being an equal opportunity employer. Our policy is to appoint the best person to the job irrespective of gender, race, disability, ethnicity, religious belief or sexual orientation. As stated in our Human Rights Policy, we strive to act in accordance with the ILO Core Conventions.

We recognize that the majority of our workforce is male but have taken steps to encourage greater gender diversity. We aim for equal pay opportunities for both women and men in equal or similar roles that require similar levels of education and experience. Discrimination in any form is strictly prohibited by our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our Human Rights Policy. Such commitments extend to contractors too.

2018 Performance

In 2018, just under 10% of employees (1,885 people) across both legacy Companies were female. This represented 12% of legacy Barrick and over 3% of former Randgold employees.

In terms of high-level positions in 2018, at legacy Barrick, 15% of senior management were women and its Board included two women at the end of 2018, while 13% of senior management at former Randgold were women and its Board included three women.

The reconstituted Barrick Board was formed with nine members, of whom one was female. Regrettably, on February 28, 2019, María Ignacia Benítez passed away. Barrick’s Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee initiated a search for an equally compelling and qualified female candidate to fill the vacant Board position and on August 9, 2019, we announced the appointment of Loreto Silva to the Board of Directors as an Independent Director.

Sexual harassment
We have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment at Barrick. Anyone who is found, after appropriate investigation, to have engaged in unlawful harassment of another person will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which, depending on the circumstances, may include dismissal. To implement this policy across the Group, we have put in place a global anti-harassment standard and dedicated training programs on the topic. In the US alone, we trained 3,599 employees, hourly and salaried, specifically on sexual harassment training. In addition, we trained 3,629 salaried employees on the Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, which also includes sexual harassment information.

Equal Opportunities to Unlock Potential

Case Study Gender Diversity and Anti-Discrimination

Following our recent merger, Barrick continues to be committed to providing equal employment opportunity to men and women, setting them up to grow professionally and succeed in a fast-paced and high-pressure environment.

One example is Alejandra Vial, Director of Site Closure in Chile, who has ascended in her career since joining Barrick in 2015 as a Manager of Environment and Permitting, predominantly overseeing aspects of the Company’s Alturas and Pascua-Lama projects in that country. Vial joined Barrick after more than 20 years working in copper mining and consulting, seeking the opportunity to grow professionally and tackle big challenges.

“I have led engineering teams and have been selected for projects based on my abilities and competencies,” Vial says. “I’ve never felt marginalized, diminished, or as though I was denied or not offered opportunities because I am a woman and so I feel valued as a person.”

Vial has found Barrick a supportive employer, whether through supporting her in learning English to teaching her about other disciplines and professions to better coordinate multidisciplinary teams. Vial has also found a helpful environment in which to maintain a good work-life balance that allows her to take care of her five children. This includes the flexibility to work remotely.

“I’ve found it energizing and exciting to be able to share experiences and information with people in other parts of the world and working at Pascua-Lama has provided me great opportunities to grow,” Vial says. “As long as I’ve got something to challenge me, something to solve, I’ll always be happy, and Barrick offers that.”