Wackenhut V Union Network International (UNI)

Overview

NCP Decision Rejected
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 01/08/2004
Date Closed 16/06/2005
Case Duration 45 weeks and 4 days
Host Country US  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Interference with the right to organise
Provisions Cited IV.1-a  IV.4-a  IV.5   
Case Description The Union Network International (UNI) filed a case with the US NCP in August 2004 regarding the anti-union practices of Wackenhut, a private security company in the US, owned by the UK-registered Group 4 Securicor (which was the result of the merger of British Securicor and Danish Group 4 Falck). The case was later submitted also to the UK NCP.

Wackenhut has repeatedly interfered with the workers’ right to organise. In 2002, the company informed its employees that they would have to resign from the trade union in order to be eligible for health insurance. Even though Wackenhut later withdrew from its position, it has kept refusing to let its employees organise with the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU). In a reply to the president of the SEIU in May 2004, Wackenhut rejected the request of union recognition encouraging SEIU to file a petition with the NLRB. In addition, Wackenhut has not lived up to the Guidelines provisions on training, which is virtually non-existing.

The case was also presented to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association in November 2003.

Developments In December 2004, the US NCP responded that it was still in the process of making an initial assessment whether the case merited further examination. Although it recognised its role in assisting to resolve matters related to the implementation of the Guidelines, the NCP claimed that it could not settle labour-management disputes. Since industrial relations are a prominent part of the Guidelines and include labour-management issues, UNI repeated its request to the NCP to handle the matter in a letter dated January 2005.



On December 2006, the NLRB upheld the decision of the Administrative Law Judge who found that Wackenhut had illegally threatened and interrogated security officers at the IMF building in Washington. (The US government is Wackenhut’s biggest client.)

Outcome On 16 June 2005, the NCP replied that it was still making a preliminary assessment of the case. While the NCP accepted that the issues raised were within the scope of the Guidelines, it emphasised the fact that the NLRB and the ILO were also involved.

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 G4S (Home country: UK)
Subsidiary Wackenhut (Home country: US)

Complainants

Lead Complainant UNI Global Union : 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