They have designated 12/12/12 as Respect at DHL Day, an international action day in solidarity with workers who were sacked and have suffered after exercising their right to choose to join a union. The day will involve supportive action from trade unionists worldwide who want to ensure that DHL is made aware of the need to act decisively to redress these injustices. DHL workers, their unions and union supporters will be taking what the organisers describe as lawful and visible action.
The day will keep up the pressure on Deutsche Post DHL (DP-DHL), whose complacency over worker conditions has been dramatically and repeatedly highlighted by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and UNI Global Union.
Last month the two global union federations took a case to the German government charging DP-DHL with having breached the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, which arepoliced by national governments. The case accuses the Bonn-headquartered DP-DHL of adopting a deliberate strategy to limit unionisation in countries including Turkey, Indonesia, Malawi, Vietnam, Colombia, Guatemala, Hong Kong and the USA.
Those charges came hard on the heels of the release of Aggressive and unlawful: a report into Deutsche Post DHL operations in Turkey, a hard-hitting investigation which revealed a well coordinated anti-union campaign involving management at the highest levels. It charged the instigators with the use of unfair and illegal sackings, threats and intimidation to create a climate of fear within the company.
Ingo Marowsky, ITF organising globally coordinator, commented: “This day is about once again holding DHL to its stated but failed aims of corporate responsibility. For the sake of all those who work there we want the company to live up to its ideals and ensure the basic levels of fairness that common justice demand.”
UNI Global Union deputy general secretary, Christy Hoffman stated: “We are asking the questions that are increasingly being heard from DHL customers and investors: how much longer can the company refuse to act? How much longer can it ignore what isgoing on in some of its operations? Until DHL does take responsibility we will keep on holding it to account.”
The ITF and UNI Global Union are campaigning for reinstatement for the sacked workers in Turkey, an end to victimisation there, and recognition for theirunion of choice, Tumtis. The two organisations have repeatedly called on DHL to enter into a global framework agreement, anegotiated ‘bill of rights’ that would sets out minimum protections and trade union rights for all DHL workers wherever they work in the world.