Principle #4: Community Relations and Workers' Rights
Forest management operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities.
4.1 The communities within, or adjacent to, the forest management area should be given opportunities for employment, training and other services.
4.1.a. Forest owners or managers utilize local foresters, loggers and local contractors. Forest managers and their contractors hire qualified local workers.
4.1.b. Forest owners or managers engage with local businesses to support economic stability in forest communities.
4.1.c. In conjunction with schools, community colleges, and/or other providers of training and education, forests are offered as a training and/or educational resource for local people. Forest managers contribute to public education about forestry practices.
4.1.d. Employee compensation and hiring practices meet or exceed regional standards. Full time skilled workers receive at least a living wage.
Applicability: A living wage is commonly defined as the wage sufficient to maintain a family of four at or above the poverty level (in combination with health insurance).
4.1.e. Forest owners or managers comply with, and establish safeguards to ensure that their contractors comply with applicable labor laws.
4.1.f. Forest owners or managers provide training opportunities for workers to improve their skills.
4.1.g. Employees are not discriminated against because of gender, race, and religion, with regards to hiring, dismissal, remuneration and other employment conditions.
4.1.h. Employment conditions (e.g., remuneration, benefits, safety equipment, training, and workmans compensation) are as good for non-local workers as they are for local workers doing the equivalent job.
4.2 Forest management should meet or exceed all applicable laws and/or regulations covering health and safety of employees and their families.
4.2.a. The forest owner or manager develops and implements a safety program that includes procedures for workplace safety and training for safe execution of all assigned tasks.
4.2.b. Appropriate safety equipment is used on the job.
4.2.c. Appropriate to the scale and intensity of the operation, forest owners or managers provide health insurance for employees and their families.
4.2.d. Forest owners or managers require contractors to develop and implement a safety program appropriate to the task being performed.
4.3 The rights of workers to organize and voluntarily negotiate with their employers shall be guaranteed as outlined in Conventions 87 and 89 of the International Labor Organizations (ILO).
4.3.a. Forest owners or managers comply with all applicable state and federal labor laws.
4.3.b. Forest owners or managers develop mechanisms for dialogue and grievance resolution between workers and management that includes culturally appropriate workers' representation, as needed.
4.3.c. Forest owners or managers freely allow employees and other workers to organize, join a union or association, and/or negotiate, collectively if desired, with their employers.
4.3.d. Where possible, forest owners or managers avoid doing business with companies that engage in anti-union or unfair labor practices.
4.4 Management planning and operations shall incorporate the results of evaluations of social impact. Consultations shall be maintained with people and groups directly affected by management operations.
Applicability: People and groups affected by management operations may include employees and contractors of the landowner, people involved in processing products from the forest, people legally using the land for subsistence or recreation, people whose use water supplies affected by forest management, neighboring property owners, and/or people benefiting from fish and wildlife in the area.
4.4.a. Forest owners or managers honor community goals for forest and natural resource use and protection as articulated in municipal and regional plans.
4.4.b. Forest owners or managers of large-scale operations with long planning horizons and potential landscape effects should provide opportunities for the interested public to provide input into management planning and decision making.
4.4.c. Adjacent landowners or other affected parties (e.g., downstream water users) are apprised of proposed forestry activities (e.g., logging, burning, spraying, and traffic) and associated environmental effects in order to solicit their comments or concerns.
4.4.d. Known archeological sites and sites of cultural, historical, or community significance, as identified through consultation with state archeological offices, tribes, universities, and local experts, are designated as special management zones or otherwise protected during harvest operations.
Applicability: This refers to sites important to Native Americans and peoples of other ancestries.
4.4.e. In sensitive areas (e.g., urban, suburban, developed areas), management policies and plans address the impact of harvesting on visual and sound quality.
4.5 Appropriate mechanisms shall be employed for resolving grievances and for providing fair compensation in the case of loss or damage affecting the legal or customary rights, property, resources, or livelihood of local peoples. Measures shall be undertaken to avoid such loss or damage.
Applicability: Provisions of Criterion 4.5. do not evoke protections or liabilities beyond those provided by U.S., state, and local laws.
4.5.a. The forest owner or manager employs informal dispute resolution procedures proactively (prior to legal action) to resolve grievances and mitigate damages resulting from forest management activities.
4.5.b. Forest owners or managers and their contractors hold adequate public liability and employees liability insurance.
Principle 1:Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles
Principle 2: Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities
Principle 3: Indigenous People's Rights | Principle 4: Community Relations and Workers Rights
Principle 5: Benefits from the Forest | Principle 6: Environmental Impact | Principle 7: Management Plan
Principle 8: Monitoring and Assessment | Principle 9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests
Principle 10: Plantations