OECD contact point to examine allegations that VEON subsidiary violated Bangladeshi workers’ rights
The Dutch National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines announced its Initial Assessment of UNI’s claim of workers’ rights violations at Amsterdam-based telecom giant VEON’s Bangladeshi subsidiary Banglalink.
The NCP found that the allegations brought by UNI Global Union that VEON fired, threatened, and harassed workers to suppress union organizing are worthy of further examination. UNI filed the case under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in July 2016.
For the first time in the history of the Dutch NCP, the company has turned down the NCP’s offer to mediate between the parties. The NCP’s response will set a precedent on holding uncooperative multinational Dutch corporations accountable to the OECD Guidelines.
Christy Hoffman, Deputy General Secretary of UNI, said:
“Whether in Bangladesh or in the Netherlands, workers have the right to form a union without threats and intimidation, and we believe VEON completely failed in its due diligence to ensure that Banglalink workers’ rights were respected. The company’s rejection of the NCP’s mediation is all the more worrying.”
The NCP will issue a final statement on the claims after its investigation concludes. The initial assessment of the case can be found here: https://www.oecdguidelines.nl/documents/publication/2018/02/06/initial-assessment-uni-global-union-vs.-veon
VEON is an Amsterdam-based multinational telecom company with 235 million customers and operations in 12 countries.
UNI Global Union represents more than 20 million workers in more than 150 countries the fastest growing sectors in the world – skills and services. It is one of the signatories of the Bangladesh Accord for Building and Fire Safety.