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UNI and ITF turn page with DHL

The German National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines (NCP) today issued a Joint Statement agreed upon by UNI, the ITF and Deutsche Post-DHL. The Joint Statement addresses some key areas in dispute and aims to turns a page in UNI and the ITF’s relationship with this leading multinational in post and logistics.

ITF and UNI filed a case in November 2012 alleging that DHL systematically denied workers their rights to freely join or organise trade unions of their choice.

The case was submitted to the German government and handled by the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines, who is based in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs. The German ministries of Labour and Justice also participated in the case.

After a preliminary investigation, in June 2013, the NCP accepted the case as concerns five critical countries and asked the parties to begin a mediation process.

The results of the mediation have been significant, most notably in Turkey, where over 1,600 workers at DHL Turkey Supply chain won the right to be represented by their union of choice, TUMTIS, after a multi-year campaign was initially met with extreme hostility by the employer.

The process has also led to an assessment of DHL’s industrial relations with unions in India and Colombia, and a path for bargaining with the union in Indonesia. The agreement calls for DHL to meet quarterly with the ITF and UNI and report to the NCP as part of the company’s due diligence process. This provides a foundation for continued dialogue and engagement with DHL and creates an opportunity to resolve disputes, especially those involving the right to organise, in a responsible, direct way.

UNI Global Union general secretary Philip Jennings said: "This agreement is a turning point in our relationship with DHL. Our aim is simple – we urge DHL to respect workers’ rights to organise, to provide decent work conditions and a voice for workers in this growing industry. We have high expectations that DHL, the world’s leader in logistics, will work with us to achieve these goals."

Steve Cotton, ITF acting general secretary, said, "ITF, UNI and our affiliates are ready to ensure DHL meets its obligations to its workers and respects union rights around the world. We are pleased that this process has been resolved and hopeful that we can continue to work with DHL to ensure that workers have their rights on the job."

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