Smead Europe V FNV

Overview

NCP Decision Rejected
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 01/10/2004
Date Closed 01/11/2004
Case Duration 4 weeks and 3 days
Host Country Netherlands  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Working conditions - introduction of a 40 hour week
Provisions Cited IV.1-a   
Case Description In October 2004, the Dutch trade union FNV raised a case with the Dutch NCP concerning the actions of Smead Europe, a US based office equipment company. The FNV contended that the company had violated a collective agreement for which it had been sanctioned by a Dutch court. In spite of the fact that the issue had been resolved, the FNV requested the NCP to officially record that the company had violated the Guidelines.
Outcome In November 2004, the Dutch NCP replied that the Guidelines should only be used to address problems that go beyond national legislation. The NCP reported in its 2005 OECD Annual Report on the Guidelines to the OECD that "legal proceedings took care of labour union’s concerns".

Organisations

Lead NCP Netherlands NCP : Independent Expert Body 

Companies

Multinational Company Smead

Complainants

Lead Complainant FNV Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging : 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

TUAC Assessment

It is important to note that the Procedural Guidance does not exclude handling cases on the basis that the issue is covered in national law.

Implications

The NCP's interpretation that the Guidelines should only be used to address problems that go beyond national legislation