Unilever V Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile (CUT) and Sindicato 1 at Unilever

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 08/06/2005
Date Closed 01/11/2005
Case Duration 20 weeks and 6 days
Host Country Chile  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Failure to consult on plant closures
Provisions Cited IV.6   
Case Description In June 2005 the Chilean Trade Union Confederation (CUT) submitted a complaint to the Chilean National Contact Point concerning the closure of Unilever plants in Chile. On 30 December 2004, Unilever verbally informed the trade union representatives that it was going to close three plants, so making 250 workers unemployed. A fourth plant was to be closed unless the workers accepted a 20 per cent wage cut. Moreover, Unilever prevented the union from making the company’s decision public. It also promised a group of workers that they would not be dismissed if they opposed the actions taken by the union.
Developments After a number of meetings organised by the NCP, Unilever and CUT reached an agreement in November 2005. The agreement was made possible because the parties accepted the role of the NCP as a mediator. The company also explicity recognised the union as the workers’ representative.
Outcome The parties agreed to separate the collective bargaining procedure from the restructuring procedure leading to the closure of two plants. It was also agreed that all the workers made redundant would be compensated. In addition, the workers were to share an annual bonus of 14 million pesos. Unilever did not re-employ the workers, but agreed to provide them with good references. The NCP was made responsible for the observance of the agreement.

Organisations

Lead NCP Chile NCP : Single Government Department 
Supporting NCP Netherlands NCP : Independent Expert Body 

Companies

Multinational Company Unilever PLC (Home country: UK, Netherlands)
Subsidiary Unilever Holding SA (Home country: Chile)

Complainants

Lead Complainant Sindicato 1 at Unilever : Company Union 
Lead Complainant CUT Chile : National Centre 

Related Documents

Chilean NCP  [Publication date: 1/11/2005] 'PROTOCOLO DE ACUERDO ENTRE LA EMPRESA UNILEVER CHILE Y LA CENTRAL UNITARIA DE TRABAJADORES DE CHILE'
   http://www.direcon.cl/documentos/OCDE/OCDE_protocolo_unilever.pdf [Date URL accessed: 7/8/2009]

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