Tuesday, August 19, 2014

International Freight and Logistics Group Under Fire Over Employment Practices - Again

Union Congress Criticises Conditions for Workers Outside Germany
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – COLOMBIA – BULGARIA – Once again express freight and logistics group DHL finds itself accused of repressive tactics in its employment policies outside of the company’s home country. At the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, agreement was reached to support Colombian union SNTT and its leader José Ignacio Garzón in their fight with a subsidiary of German multi-national shipping giant.

Regular readers will know that the battle between international unions and DHL has been unfolding over years rather than months, with numerous promises from boss Frank Appel that the situation would be resolved but in this latest case DHL Express in Colombia is accused of targeting Mr Garzón by relocating him from his place of work, suspension, and discriminatory treatment, including denying him a salary increase, in a bid to restrict union rights. SNTT General Secretary Esteban Baroza Palencia said:

“It is essential that all workers are treated with respect and that companies comply with labour law in every country, including the monitoring of international standards. We ask DHL and its subsidiary in Colombia, DHL Express, to stop the violations of the freedom of association and the fundamental right of joining a union, as well as any form of harassment at work. In the case of our brother José Ignacio Garzón, the company must cease its persecution and reinstate him to his original job and respect the principle of freedom of association and initiate a process of collective bargaining in good faith with SNTT, the union representing its workers.”

Spanish speakers can see a video of the union’s view here, whilst ITF President Paddy Crumlin said ITF affiliates from all unions representing DHL workers around the world are concerned by the company’s attitude and will begin solidarity action, including the signing of a joint letter by unions, to remind them of their responsibilities, commenting:

“We, as union leaders, condemn the irresponsible and persecutory attitude adopted by DHL against our brother José Ignacio Garzón. This type of attitude is likewise a violation of the principles and commitments set forth in the United Nations Global Compact, of which DHL is a signatory. Harassment at work constitutes a violation of the principles of freedom of association contained in the ILO fundamental conventions, ratified by Colombia, and is a fundamental human right. DHL is a multinational company, with its head office in Germany, a country which has also ratified the ILO fundamental conventions, and it is for these reasons that we demand that these agreements be respected.”