Bata V CFDT and CGT

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 01/06/2001
Date Closed 01/12/2002
Case Duration 78 weeks and 2 days
Host Country France  (OECD member)
Sector Textiles, Leather and Garments 
Issue(s) Failure to provide information reflected the company's true financial situation
Provisions Cited IV.2-b  IV.3  IV.6   
Case Description In June 2001, the CFDT, with the support of the CGT, raised the closure of Bata’s establishment in Lorraine (the Hellocourt plant) with the French NCP in June 2001 for failing to provide information to the workers that reflected the real situation of the company. Bata has its headquarters in Canada.
Developments The French NCP contacted the Canadian NCP to obtain information directly from the parent company. BATA was, however, unwilling to provide further information. The Canadian NCP indicated that it felt that the case should not be taken up once the Commercial Court in Metz, which was arbitrating a takeover of the plant, had ruled.

In November 2001, the Commercial Court in Metz arbitrated the takeover of BATA Hellocourt by one of the managers of the original factory. However, only 268 out of 800 employees at the Hellocourt plant were re-hired by the company that took over the plant.

Outcome The French NCP closed the case when the Hellocourt plant was taken over despite the fact that the issue had not been settled. The case was deemed non-admissible due to a lack of evidence. The French NCP wrote to both BATA and the Canadian NCP to explain its decision. In a press release of 3 February 2003, the CGT contested the decision of the NCP and complained about the NCP procedure for being slow and confidential. The CGT denounced Bata for requriing that its former employees either buy Bata social houses or face eviction.

Organisations

Lead NCP France NCP : Tripartite (involving several government departments and the social partners) 
Supporting NCP Canada NCP : Interdepartmental Committee 

Companies

Multinational Company Bata (Home country: Canada)
Subsidiary Hellocourt (Home country: France)

Complainants

Lead Complainant CFDT - France : National Centre 
Supporting Complainant Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) : 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

Implications

This case illustrates the lack of impact of the Guidelines when a company has already closed a plant as well as the need to resolve the issue of parallel legal proceedings.