Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) V UNITE and AFL-CIO

Overview

NCP Decision No Decision
Current Status Withdrawn
Date Submitted 02/07/2002
Date Closed 01/01/2003
Case Duration 26 weeks and 1 days
Host Country US  (OECD member)
Issue(s) Freedom of association
Provisions Cited IV.1-a  IV.4-a   
Case Description In July 2002, the US trade unions UNITE and AFL-CIO submitted a complaint to the US NCP concerning the conduct of Brylane Inc, a subsidiary of the French multinational Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR). The same case was simultaneously submitted to the French NCP by the French trade unions the CFDT, CGT and FO and the Dutch NCP by FNV, on the grounds that PPR also owned Gucci, which was headquartered in the Netherlands. In October 2002, the Austrian Clean Clothes Campaign submitted the same case to the Austrian NCP. The case alleged that Brylane initiated a campaign of harassment and intimidation against workers’ who attempted to form a trade union.
Developments The US NCP contacted the French NCP about the case, while the Dutch NCP replied that the case was not relevant to the Dutch NCP. Likewise, the Austrian NCP did not find the case admissible by the Austrian NCP. In November, UNITE renewed its request to the US NCP as it had not received a response.
Outcome UNITE withdrew the case in January 2003 after reaching an agreement with Brylane to have a card check ballot to determine whether the workres wanted to be represented by UNITE or not. UNITE won the card check ballot on 29 January and a collective bargaining agreement was subsequently signed.

Organisations

Lead NCP France NCP : Tripartite (involving several government departments and the social partners) 
Lead NCP Austria NCP : Single Government Department 
Lead NCP US NCP : Single Department with Interagency Working Group 
Supporting NCP Netherlands NCP : Independent Expert Body 

Companies

Multinational Company Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) (Home country: France)
Subsidiary Brylane Inc. (Home country: US)

Complainants

Lead Complainant AFL-CIO : National Centre 
Lead Complainant UNITE : Regional/state sectoral union 
Lead Complainant FNV Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging : 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

TUAC Assessment

Despite the passivity of the US NCP, the case helped to enable PPR to get Brylane to comply with the Guidelines. Action was taken by French trade unions and the French NCP. This contributed to the positive outcome.