Imerys V PACE

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 22/09/2004
Date Closed 01/02/2006
Case Duration 71 weeks and 0 days
Host Country US  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Coercing and intimidating employees exercising their rights to organise
Provisions Cited IV.2-b  IV.2-c  IV.4-a  IV.8  V.1-a   
Case Description In September 2004, the United Steelworkers (USW) raised a case with the US NCP concerning abuses of workers’ rights by Imerys Carbonates LLC, a subsidiary of the French corporation Imerys. The company had, inter alia, threatened, coerced and intimidated employees who were exercising their right to organise. The union had also filed a number of charges of unfair labour practices with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Given that Imerys is a French-owned company, the United Steelworkers requested the US NCP to co-operate with the French NCP in order to resolve the issue. It also suggested that the French NCP should discuss the case with Imerys in Paris.

Developments In November 2004, the US NCP replied that the matter was still under consideration. Before determining whether the issue merited further examination, the NCP wanted the union’s opinion on the involvement of the NCP considering 'there are parallel legal proceedings before the NLRB'. The USW argued that the two procedures were not exclusive and that the Guidelines were complementary to national law and the fact that the Guidelines had been violated required the intervention of the NCP.

TUAC took part in a fact finding visit to the Sylacauga Imerys facility in October 2005 and submitted a report to management.

Outcome An informal meeting took place with French management in February 2006 involving TUAC, ICEM and AFL-CIO. The situation subsequently improved following a change in both personnel and behaviour from the local management. A new contract was negotiated between the management and the USW and ratified by 95 per cent of the work force in February 2007. The case is being closely monitored by the AFL-CIO, the USW and the ICEM to make sure that recent improvements are sustained on the long run.

Organisations

Lead NCP US NCP : Single Department with Interagency Working Group 

Companies

Multinational Company Imerys (Home country: France)
Subsidiary Imerys Carbonates LLC

Complainants

Lead Complainant PACE - Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers International Union : Regional/state sectoral union 
Supporting Complainant USW United Steelworkers of America : National Sectoral Union 
Supporting Complainant AFL-CIO : National Centre 

TUAC Analysis

Did the NCP publish its initial assessment? status-icon
Did the case involve parallel proceedings? status-icon
Was the existence of parallel proceedings an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Was the businsess relationship other than that of a subsidiary? status-icon
Was the nature of the business relationship an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its acceptance of this case? status-icon
Did the NCP offer mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the company accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the complainant(s) accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation held? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation conducted by a professional mediator? status-icon
Did the parties reach agreement? status-icon
If yes, did the NCP publish this agreement following the consent of the parties? status-icon
If mediation was refused or failed did the NCP make an assessment of whether the company had breached the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP conduct in-host country fact finding? status-icon
Did the NCP make recommendations to the company on the future implementation of the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP publish its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP provide for follow-up of the agreement/recommendations? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP inform public pension funds about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP apply any consequences in this case? status-icon
Did the NCP follow the indicative timescales set out in the procedural guidance? status-icon
Was there a positive outcome for the workers involved in this case? status-icon
Did the filing of the case under the Guidelines have a positive impact for the workers involved? status-icon
Did the lead NCP play a positive role? status-icon
If different, did the home NCP play a positive role? status-icon

Implications

Parallel proceedings