British American Tobacco (BAT) V International Union of Food Workers (US)

Overview

NCP Decision Rejected
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 04/05/2006
Case Duration Not known
Host Country US  (OECD member)
Sector Food, Agriculture and Tobacco 
Issue(s) Anti-union campaign
Provisions Cited IV.1-a  IV.7   
Case Description On behalf of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) and the Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the IUF filed a case with the US and UK NCPs concerning the behaviour of Reynolds American Inc, a US subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT), on 3 May 2006. The right to union representation was violated at two tobacco plants in North Carolina. The company also threatened to relocate production offshore.

As noted in the IUF letter to the NCPs: “At the request of a majority of the workforce […] the BCTGM and the IAM have begun the process of organizing the plants. [Reynolds American Inc.] responded by launching an anti-union campaign involving disparaging attacks on the unions and worker intimidation. […] The company has made it abundantly clear […] that it does not want [its workers] to be unionised and there will be consequences if they do so”. The submission includes evidence of indirect threats made in a public meeting in April 2006 by the company’s vice-president for human resources to relocate offshore, should the plants be unionised.

Developments The UK NCP acknowledged receipt on 4 May 2006.

Organisations

Lead NCP US NCP : Single Department with Interagency Working Group 
Supporting NCP UK NCP : Bi-ministerial plus Multi-stakeholder Independent Board 

Companies

Multinational Company British American Tobacco (Home country: UK)
Subsidiary Reynolds American Inc, (Home country: US)

Complainants

Lead Complainant International Union of Food Workers (IUF) : Global Union Federation 
Supporting Complainant AFL-CIO : National Centre 
Affected Party Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Affected Party BCTGM Bakery Confectionery Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union : National Union 

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