InBev V International Union of Food Workers

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Withdrawn
Date Submitted 01/07/2006
Date Closed 13/06/2007
Case Duration 49 weeks and 4 days
Host Country Montenegro  (Non-adhering country)
Issue(s) Violation of trade union rights
Provisions Cited IV.1-a  IV.7  IV.8   
Case Description On 7 July 2006, the IUF, on behalf of the Autonomous Union of Trebjesa A.D. Brewery (SDSPT), submitted a case to the Belgian NCP involving the Belgian multinational InBev (formerly Interbrew) regarding breaches of the Guidelines at its subsidiary in Montenegro. The local management had refused to re-instate the trade union officer Mr Bozidar Perovic, President of the SDSPT, in violation of both local legislation and a formal agreement (September 2002) between Inbev and the IUF, providing for the reinstatement of workers which was agreed after a strike in 2002.

In 2003 and 2005, the company was twice found guilty of violation of the national labour code in the Montenegrin courts, which declared Mr Perovic's dismissal illegal and ordered his immediate reinstatement. In its submission to the NCP, the IUF provided further evidence that InBev management had threatened to transfer production offshore to intimidate the trade union and inhibit further action to secure the reinstatement of Mr Perovic.

The submission included evidence of local management interfering in union elections to impose a new leadership of the SDSPT to replace Mr Perovic.

Prior to the case, the Montenegrin High Court had ruled in April 2005 that Perovic’s dismissal was illegal and ordered InBev to reinstate him, a ruling that was appealed.

Developments The Belgian NCP first invited the parties separately to a meeting to discuss the handling of the case and the NCP procedures. Then on the 4 December 2006, the NCP held a tripartite meeting with the IUF and InBev in order to mediate between the parties.
Outcome The meeting provided a catalyst for a constructive dialogue between the two parties. The parties reached a mutually satisfactory resolution in June 2007 and the IUF withdrew the complaint.

Organisations

Lead NCP Belgium NCP : Tripartite (involving several government departments and the social partners) 

Companies

Multinational Company Inbev

Complainants

Lead Complainant International Union of Food Workers (IUF) : Global Union Federation 
Affected Party SDSPT

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

In the IUF’s view, the NCP procedure was conducive to achieving this positive result.

Implications

Positive role of the NCP and provision of mediation