Gamma Holding V USW

Overview

NCP Decision No Decision
Current Status Withdrawn
Date Submitted 01/02/2006
Date Closed 01/04/2007
Case Duration 60 weeks and 4 days
Host Country US  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Right to trade union representation
Provisions Cited IV.1-a  IV.2-b  IV.2-c  IV.4-a  IV.8   
Case Description Violations of the Guidelines by the US subsidiary National Wire Fabric (NWF) of the Dutch company Gamma Holding were raised with the US NCP by the United Steelworkers of America (USW) at the beginning of February 2006.

It was reported that NWF had interfered with the workers’ right to organise and refused to enter into constructive negotiations with the union. When the company terminated the collective agreement in June 2005, workers decided to strike. The NWF therefore hired replacement workers to operate the plant. After first having accepted the return of the regular workers, the NWF then refused to reinstate them in order to keep the replacement workers.

Developments On 26 July 2006, the FNV sent a letter to the Dutch NCP expressing support for the USW submission and asking the Dutch NCP to assist the US NCP in resolving the case. Since the FNV did not receive a reply, it wrote again to the NCP in December 2006. Still without a reply, the FNV sent yet a letter in February 2007 to demand a reply to previous letters and to provide further information about the latest developments in the US.

In May 2006, the USW filed a case with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The company was formally charged with labour law violations in January 2007 and the trial was scheduled for mid-March.

Outcome The USW withdrew the case from the NCP after having reached a settlement with NWF and Gamma Holding in April 2007.

Organisations

Lead NCP US NCP : Single Department with Interagency Working Group 
Supporting NCP Netherlands NCP : Independent Expert Body 

Companies

Multinational Company Gamma Holding (Home country: Netherlands)
Subsidiary National Wire Fabric (Home country: US)

Complainants

Lead Complainant United Steelworkers of America (Canada) : 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

TUAC Assessment

Although the US NCP did not take any measures to resolve the case, the Guidelines were useful in getting the parent company involved to find a solution to the issue.

Implications

This is an example of a case in which the primary NCP did not take measures to resolve the case, yet the Guidelines proved a useful means of getting the parent company involved