Continental V United Steelworkers (USW)

Overview

NCP Decision No Decision
Current Status No Information
Date Submitted 01/08/2006
Case Duration 645 weeks and 5 days so far
Host Country US  (OECD member)
Sector Automotive 
Issue(s) Union busting; right to trade union representation; failure to engage in collective bargaining
Provisions Cited IV.1-a   
Case Description At the beginning of August 2006, the United Steelworkers (USW) informed the US NCP of alleged breaches of the Guidelines by Continental Tire North America Inc at a plant in Charlotte, North Carolina in the US.

Continental Tire North America has for many years maintained a hostile attitude towards unions in the US, including hiring professional 'union busters' to intimidate non-union workers. In 2003, the company gradually phased out production at a unionised plant in Mayfield (Kentucky), which resulted in almost all of the 1300 workers being laid off and the transfer of machinery to a non-union plant in Mt. Vernon and to Brazil.

In an apparent attempt to repeat the Mayfield closure, Continental Tire North America announced in late 2005 that it was demanding 32 million USD in contract concessions at its unionised plant in Charlotte, approximately 32,000 USD per employee per year. Moreover, the management refused to engage in constructive negotiations with the recognised representative of its employees, despite numerous calls from the USW. In March 2006, Continental Tire North America announced its intention to 'indefinitely suspend' tire production in Charlotte and began moving equipment to other plants. In May 2006, the company further imposed new cuts in wages and benefits on USW-represented workers. These were followed by the elimination of any type of employer paid retirement plan and restrictions in health care benefits. These measures will force hundreds of workers to use their pensions to pay for health care.

On 29 June 2006, the National Labor Relations Board stated that the company 'did refuse, and continues to refuse, to bargain collectively with the Union' and that it 'failed and refused to bargain' over its decision to lay off employees and eliminate tire production at the Charlotte facility.

Developments As of 26 September 2006, the US NCP had yet to acknowledge receipt of the USW submission.

Organisations

Lead NCP US NCP : Single Department with Interagency Working Group 

Companies

Multinational Company Continental (Home country: Germany)
Subsidiary Continental Tire North America Inc. (Home country: US)

Complainants

Lead Complainant USW United Steelworkers of America : National Sectoral Union 
Supporting Complainant AFL-CIO : National Centre 
Supporting Complainant ICEM International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions : Global Union Federation 

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