Unilever Plc V International Transport Federation (Turkey)

Overview

NCP Decision No Decision
Current Status No Information
Date Submitted 24/11/2008
Case Duration 524 weeks and 4 days so far
Host Country Turkey  (OECD member)
Sector Transport 
Issue(s) Illegal dismissal of workers and the right to collective bargaining
Provisions Cited IV.1-a   
Case Description IIn November 2008, the International Transport Federation (ITF) raised a case with the UK NCP against a Turkish subsidiary of Unilever Plc for the dismissal of trade union members at two warehouse subcontractors in Turkey: Çipa and Simsek in April and May 2008. Both subcontracting companies were created to work for Unilever exclusively and Unilever management is involved in the management of their operations and employment.

TÜMTIS, which is the authorised trade union for collective bargaining with Cipa management (not Simsek), has brought a law suit for the illegal dismissal of 83 workers. The courts have called for a reinstatement of some of the workers, which so far has not been respected. On the 11th September 2008, the ITF wrote to Unilever’s CEO proposing a high level meeting, but this meeting was declined on the basis that it would interfere with the ongoing court case. However, the court case is only looking at whether the dismissal of the workers was illegal and should not prevent Unilever from recognising TÜMTIS and engaging in collective bargaining in line with Chapter IV a of the Guidelines.

Developments The complaint was subsequently passed to the Turkish NCP, but so far there has been no response from the Turkish NCP. The Turkish 2009 NCP report states that the complaint is pending and at the initial assessment stage. The case is not contained in the 2009 report of the UK NCP.

Turkey did not submit an annual report to the OECD in 2011, so there is no updated information available.

Organisations

Lead NCP Turkey NCP : Single Government Department 
Supporting NCP UK NCP : Bi-ministerial plus Multi-stakeholder Independent Board 

Companies

Multinational Company Unilever PLC (Home country: UK, Netherlands)
Subsidiary Unilever Turkey (Home country: Turkey)
Subcontractor Simsek (Home country: Turkey)
Subcontractor Cipa (Home country: Turkey)

Complainants

Lead Complainant International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) : Global Union Federation 
Affected Party TÜMTIS : Local 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

Responsibility of multinationals for sub-contractors