Nestlé V National Confederation of Trade Unions Japan, Hyogo Prefectural Confederation of Trade Unions and Nestlé Japan Employees Union

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 01/08/2005
Date Closed 19/11/2013
Case Duration 433 weeks and 1 days
Host Country Japan  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Unfair labour practice and disclosure of information
Provisions Cited III.4  III.5  IV.1-a  IV.2-a  IV.2-b  IV.3  IV.4-a  IV.8   
Case Description In August 2005, Nestle Japan Employees's Union filed a case against Nestlé with Japanese NCP concerning anti-union practices; failure to bargain collectively in good faith; massive layoffs without warning; and failure to disclose important information. The complaint alleged that Nestle management unfairly dismissed union officers and paid union workers lower wages in a discriminatory manner. Moreover, management appointed managerial level staff as negotiators with no such recognized authority by the union in collective bargaining talks, contrary to the principle of bona fide proceedings. The complaint also explained that in 2000 and 2003, Nestle closed or scaled down plants in Hyogo prefecture with no advance notice and with no consultation with the union or local government authorities. Finally, the complainants assert that Nestle has improperly refused to disclose what should be minimum public information on its wage structure for employees, the safety and reliability of its food products, and on the background of a major restructuring of Nestle Japan into four companies. Two Labor Commissions of local prefectures have ruled that Nestle should explain in detail what effects this restructuring will have on the legal relations between the companies and their employees.
Developments On June 29, 2006, the same complaint was lodged with the Swiss NCP. On June 6, 2007, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Japanese Diet (lower house of Parliament) took up the matter on the urging of Senator Kasai. The Foreign Minister is quoted as saying that "The Guidelines must be observed". On Nov. 2, 2007, Senator Kasai brought up the matter once again in the Diet.

On the 10 September 2013, the Japanese NCP made an initial assessment, which concluded that the issues raised merit further examination as set forth in section I.C.1. of the Implementation Procedures of the Guidelines, and notified the conclusion to the Complainants and Nestlé Japan.

Following the initial assessment, the Japanese NCP, in line with the Guidelines and section I.C.2. of the Implementation Procedures, held consultations with the parties involved to help resolve the issues. With support from the Swiss NCP, the Japanese 3

NCP conducted separate consultations with the Complainant and Nestlé Japan. Subsequently, consultations were initiated between the parties concerned themselves.

On October 1, 2013, as a result of the consultations between the parties concerned, a Confirmation Letter and Agreement were signed by the Hyogo Local Confederation of Trade Unions, Nestlé Japan Labor Union, and Nestlé Japan, National Confederation of Trade Unions and Nestlé S.A..

The agreement was reached with a view to realizing the "prevention of disputes and improvement of trust between multinational enterprises and local communities where those enterprise operate" . In the Confirmation Letter and Agreement, the parties confirmed their commitment to collective bargaining between Nestlé Japan Labor Union and Nestlé Japan. The parties also agreed to close all existing disputes with respect to the position, rights and obligations of union members belonging to Nestlé Japan Labor Union stipulated under the labor contract, as well as all existing disputes with respect to debtor-creditor relationship between both parties.

Outcome The parties informed the Japanese NCP of these developments and withdrew the case. The Japanese NCP closed the case on the 19 November 2013.

Organisations

Lead NCP Japan NCP : Interministerial Body 
Supporting NCP Switzerland NCP : Single Government Department 

Companies

Subsidiary Nestle Japan Holding Co. Ltd. (Home country: Japan)

Complainants

Lead Complainant Delete National Confederation of Trade Unions : National Centre 
Lead Complainant Hyogo Prefectural Confederation of Trade Unions : Local Union 
Lead Complainant Nestlé Japan Employees' Union : Company Union 
Lead Complainant Nestlé

Related Documents

Peter Rossman  [Publication date: 13/7/2010] 'Whose Workplace? The ILO and Nestlé'
   http://cms.iuf.org/?q=print/443 [Date URL accessed: 22/7/2010]

'Final Statement Issued by the Japanese NCP on a Specific Instance Involving Nestlé Japan Ltd. in Relation to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises'
   https://mneguidelines.oecd.org/database/ncp/Nestle-2005-English.pdf [Date URL accessed: 12/8/2014]

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