TORONTO, March 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor is raising concerns about global logistics giant DHL after a new report found the company guilty of breaking its own – and international – rules on the way its workers are treated.
The independent investigation (www.breaking-the-code.org), carried out in Chile, Colombia and Panama, exposes serious abuses and failings in the way the German-based multinational behaves. It follows similar findings in previous research carried out at DHL sites in India (http://goo.gl/KCRCiS) and Turkey (http://goo.gl/zE6FV5).
"The actions of DHL demonstrate an ongoing and organized effort to curtail worker's rights," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "The standard of treatment of workers should not depend on where they live. DHL must respect internationally recognized human rights everywhere it operates."
Today's report is released as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) process between DHL and the global unions comes to an end. In 2013, the OECD accepted a complaint by the ITF and UNI Global Union about Deutsche Post-DHL's conduct after previous investigations (http://goo.gl/DZi526). This led to two years of talks that concluded in December and were finally reviewed today.
"These talks have failed to improve conditions for DHL workers," said Steve Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). "While we were negotiating in good faith, DHL was continuing to treat its workers in a way that breaches international standards. It's time for DHL to engage in a robust, transparent process in consultation with staff and their unions to improve working conditions at the company and ensure freedom of association for all of its workers worldwide."
The report includes the story of a worker who sustained chronic injuries due to poor training, the case of 42 workers who were terminated for union activity, evidence of DHL faking a customer complaint letter to fire the son of a union official, claims that DHL monitors employees' conversations and evidence that DHL intercepts union members' phone calls.
"The company's code should make DHL a beacon of good conduct in Latin America", said the report's author, Dr. Victor Figueroa Clark of the London School of Economics. "Sadly, the evidence from the workers I interviewed paints an overwhelmingly different picture. The multiple, frequent and institutional anti-union practices described in this report are difficult to interpret as anything but the result of an anti-union policy originating from the heart of the company in Germany".
Unifor is part of the ITF's global campaign to raise standards for all DHL workers. Read the report and the media summary at www.breaking-the-code.org . Additional background can be found at http://goo.gl/zpshrW .
For further information: Unifor Communications National Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at Kathleen.OKeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).