Metaleurop V Force Ouvrière (FO)

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 01/02/2003
Case Duration Not known
Host Country France  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Failure to consult on company closure; environmental damage
Provisions Cited IV.6  V.2-b   
Case Description In February 2003, Force Ouvrière (FO) raised a case with the French NCP concerning the activities of Metaleurop. As the Swiss multinational Glencore is the largest stockholder of Metaleurop, the case was also submitted to Swiss NCP. In January 2003, Metaleurop SA announced that it would stop financing its subsidiary Metaleurop Nord, the biggest foundry of lead in Europe, which was declared bankrupt in March 2003. In closing down the company, Metaleurop failed to put in place a social plan and to clean up the environmental damage it had caused in breach of the Chapters on Employment and Industrial Relations and Environment.
Developments A petition was also submitted to the Béthune Regional Court. The case made its way to the Douai Court of Appeal, the Paris Court of Appeals, and the Court of Cassation. The outcome of these proceedings, which concerned the liquidation of Metaleurop, was that the company was reorganized as Recyclex, with the Nord site in question still closed.

At its meeting on 27 October 2004, the French NCP decided to stay the case pending the outcome of the legal proceedings, then at the Douai court. As Metaleurop was undergoing compulsory liquidation, it was audited by the NCP in April 2005. The company representative was unable to provide any information; the NCP instead submitted questions but the company never responded.

In February 2006, the NCP considered closing the case but postponed pending further information. In its 2006 Annual report to the OECD, the French NCP stated that the case was "being considered", but noted the existence of parallel legal proceedings.

In February 2005 and later in June 2007, the NCP considered questioning the Swiss company Glencore, Metaleurop’s largest shareholder, was considered but no action was taken.

Outcome On 13 June 2008, the French NCP published a final statement on its website, which referenced French and European regulations concerning the rehabilitation of polluted land.

Organisations

Lead NCP France NCP : Tripartite (involving several government departments and the social partners) 
Supporting NCP Switzerland NCP : Single Government Department 

Companies

Multinational Company Metaleurop SA (Home country: France)
Subsidiary Metaleurop Nord (Home country: France)
Controlling Shareholder Glencore International AG (Home country: Switzerland)

Complainants

Lead Complainant FO - Force Ouvrière : National Centre 

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

Implications

Parallel legal proceedings