Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide V International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 09/02/2015
Date Closed 12/05/2016
Case Duration 65 weeks and 3 days
Host Countries Ethiopia  (Non-adhering country)
Maldives  (Non-adhering country)

Sector Hotel, Restaurant and Catering 
Issue(s) Trade union rights; retaliatory terminations for workers exercising their rights
Provisions Cited II.A.10  II.A.11  II.A.12  IV.1  IV.3  IV.4  IV.5  V.1-b  V.3   
Case Description In February 2015, the IUF submitted a Specific Instance to the USNCP concerning the activities of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwidein the Maldives
and Ethiopia. The IUF described how two of Starwood's Sheraton branded properties, the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resorts & Spain Maldives (Sheraton Maldives) and the Sheraton Addis Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Sheraton Addis) violated the Guidelines by failing to recognise legitimate trade union organisations, failing to negotiate with those unions, and undertaking mass employee terminations in order to intimidate workers and prevent them from exercising their rights.

Outcome Summary of the Outcome of the Specific Instance

This Final Statement concludes consideration by the United States National Contact Point (USNCP) for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the Guidelines ) of the Specific Instance submitted by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) regarding the alleged actions of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (Starwood) through its affiliates at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa in the Maldives and Sheraton Addis Hotel in Ethiopia . The USNCP offered mediation to the parties, which both parties accepted, and the parties went to two days of mediation in January 2016, one day in February, 2016 and a final session in April, 2016 resulted in an agreement between the two parties. While the parties decided to keep the resulting written agreement confidential, they authorized public dissemination of the following joint statement:
Both parties have participated in the mediation process in good faith resulting in a successful outcome. The parties have signed a confidential written agreement resolving the specific instance. More specifically, the parties have reached full resolution of the concerns raised by IUF pertain
ing to the discharge of workers and the collective bargaining process at the Sheraton Addis Ababa hotel. In regards to Sheraton Maldives, the parties shall reconvene at an agreed location to continue to explore options in good faith to resolve the matter. The parties agree to meet for a sufficient length of time to allow for exploration of any options or topics proposed by
either side as part of these ongoing discussions. Additional meetings after the initial meeting can be held by mutual agreement. The US NCP will remain a resource to the parties going forward. As a follow-up measure and per US NCP procedures, one year after completion of the Specific Instance, parties will be asked to separately submit a confidential response to the USNCP on the status of the agreement. The parties express their appreciation for the efforts of both the US NCP and the appointed mediators in facilitating this agreement.

Organisations

Lead NCP US NCP : Single Department with Interagency Working Group 

Complainants

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

Related Documents

US NCP  [Publication date: 12/5/2016] 'Specific Instance between the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for conduct in the Maldives and Ethiopia'
   https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/257322.pdf [Date URL accessed: 25/7/2017]

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

This is the first case submitted to the US NCP in which a company has agreed to participate in mediation. This is a highly positive development.