Tetra Pak V Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)

Overview

NCP Decision Rejected
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 01/07/2007
Date Closed 01/11/2007
Case Duration 17 weeks and 4 days
Host Country South Korea  (OECD member)
Sector Other 
Issue(s) Failure to negotiate and disclose information on closure of plant
Provisions Cited IV.1-a  IV.3  IV.6   
Case Description In July 2007, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) filed a case with the Korean, Swedish and Swiss NCPs regarding the activities of Tetra Pak. Tetra Paki is registered in Sweden, but its headquarters are located in Switzerland.

The Tetra Pak Korea Trade Union had repeatedly requested the company to disclose information about its financial and operational performance, as well as ownership and governance, but without success. In March 2007, the company announced that the Yeo Ju factory was to be closed. When the union requested financial information regarding the closure of the factory, the company refused. The same month workers received a letter from management stating that they would be fired as of 9 May 2007 if they did not hand in their resignation.

In an inteview with the Press, the President of Tetra Pak Korea said that that they were closing the factory because the union was strong and demanded too high wages.

Developments At the beginning of September 2007, the trade union sent additional material to the Korean NCP that included a transcript of a discussion between the company management and the union, where, again, the company admitted that the closure of the factory was due to trade union activities.

The same month, the Swiss NCP met with a Korean trade union delegation during its stay in Switzerland to discuss the case. The NCP also organised a tripartite meeting with the Swiss management in the beginning of October. Shortly after, two members of the delegation went on hunger strike.

Negotiations conducted by the Economic Department of the Vaud Canton in Switzerland broke down in mid-November after the union refused the offer made by Tetra Pak.

Outcome The South Korean NCP rejected the case.

Organisations

Lead NCP South Korea NCP : Independent Expert Body 
Supporting NCP Switzerland NCP : Single Government Department 
Supporting NCP Sweden NCP : Tripartite (involving several government departments and the social partners) 

Companies

Multinational Company Tetra Pak (Home country: Sweden)
Subsidiary Tetra Pak Korea - Yeo Ju factory (Home country: South Korea)

Complainants

Lead Complainant KCTU- Korea : National Centre 
Affected Party Tetra Pak Korea Trade Union : Company 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

Implications

NCP cooperation: example of home country NCP playing a positive role where the host country NCP did not