Read the initial assessment issued by the French NCP – 26 April 2017 (French)
In September 2016, the French NCP received a specific instance submitted by the American Trade Union UNITE HERE Local 11. The submission related to a social conflict in a Hotel in California, the Westin Long Beach Hotel, and alleged violations of freedom of association, collective bargaining and working hours. It also questioned whether due diligence within the investment chain and business relationships of this property in relation to the social conflict at the hotel had been conducted adequately.
The Westin Long Beach hotel is indirectly owned by a US pension fund (Utah Retirement System). This pension fund receives advice from a US asset manager (AEW Capital Management) which is affiliated to a French asset manager (NGAM). Both AEW and NGAM are part of the French Group NATIXIS. Some aspects of the social conflict had already been brought to US Labor Relation Board and to the Superior Court of California targeting the hotel’s operator, a US based enterprise. The submitter questions whether due diligence was conducted by the French Group toward its US affiliated assets manager in relation with the social conflict at the Hotel.
The French NCP received the specific instance on 15 September 2016.The case was deemed admissible on 5 October 2016 and the NCP commenced its initial assessment. After several exchanges between the French NCP and the US NCP, the French NCP was chosen as the lead NCP. In parallel, due to the complexity of the corporate structures and relations of the entities involved, the NCP decided to meet separately with both parties to complete the initial assessment.
On 30 January 2017, the NCP finalised the initial assessment and concluded that the case merited further examination. The French NCP will coordinate its action with the NCP of the United States (US NCP). The NCP offered its good offices to the French Group (NATIXIS and NGAM) and to the American Trade Union which both parties accepted. On 26 April 2017 the French NCP adopted an initial assessment statement after consulting with both parties and with the US NCP. Good offices with UNITE HERE Local 11 and NATIXIS and NGAM are ongoing, in coordination with the US NCP.