Brinks V Ministry of Economy, Belgium

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 30/11/2010
Date Closed 20/01/2011
Case Duration 7 weeks and 2 days
Host Country Belgium  (OECD member)
Sector Security 
Issue(s) Company restructuring and labour violations
Provisions Cited II.3  II.5  II.6  II.7  III.1  III.4  IV.1-a  IV.2-c  IV.6  IV.7  IV.8   
Case Description In November 2010, the Belgian Minister for Enterprise, Vincent Van Quickenbome, submitted a case to the Belgian NCP concerning alleged violations of the Employment and Industrial Relations Chapter of the Guidelines by the subsidiary of the US company Brink's. The financial situation of Brink's Belgium deteriorated in 2009 and 2010 due to, among other reasons, the loss of a major client. On 27 October 2010 Brink's Belgium proposed plans for major restructuring and requested the workers' response by 5 November 2010 (alleged to be in violation of Chapter IV.6). The complaint further alleges that Brink's failed to deposit its annual accounts for 2009 within the legal time required. The company also provided very little information to workers on the economic and financial situation of the company in 2009 and 2010.
Outcome The Beligan NCP found that Brink's had breached the Guidelines. It recommended that the Brink's Group promote the Guidelines to all enterprises within the Group, that it respect the Guidelines and in particular those provisions concerning the provision of meaningful information that would support constructive social dialogue. It also reminded the Brink's group of its obligation under Chapter IV. 6 to provide reasonable notice to respresentatives of employees and government representatives of changes that would have major effects upon the livlihoods of their employees.

Organisations

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

Companies

Multinational Company Brinks (Home country: US)

Complainants

Lead Complainant Ministry for Enterprise

Related Documents

Belgian NCP  [Publication date: 20/1/2011] 'BRINKS: Communiqué du Point de contact national beIge chargé du SUlVI des principes directeurs de l'OCDE pour les entreprises multinationales'
   http://economie.fgov.be/fr/binaries/OCDEprincipesdirecteurs_Brinks_tcm326-11564
   6.pdf
[Date URL accessed: 20/5/2011]

Belgian NCP  [Publication date: 20/1/2011] 'Brink Group: Final Statement by the Belgian NCP'
   http://economie.fgov.be/nl/binaries/brincks_en_tcm325-119457.pdf [Date URL accessed: 20/5/2011]

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

This is the first case that has been submitted by an adhering government to its own National Contact Point concerning the behaviour of an enterprise headquartered in another adhering country. The National Contact Point made a determination of whether Brink had breached the Guidelines - and in record time (less than two months between the submission and close of the case).