|UNI Global Union & VEON|
|Description||This complaint by Global Union concerns an alleged violation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by VimpelCom (hereinafter VEON since the company changed its name to VEON in February 2017) in Bangladesh.|
|Theme(s)||Concepts and principles, Employment and industrial relations, Human rights|
|Date||7 Jul 2016|
|Source||Business, NGO, Trade Union|
|Industry sector||Information and communication, Manufacturing, Professional, scientific and technical activities|
Read the initial assessment issued by the NCP of the Netherlands – 6 February 2018
On 11 July 2016 UNI Global Union submitted a specific instance to the Dutch National Contact Point regarding an alleged violation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (hereinafter: the Guidelines) by VimpelCom (hereinafter VEON since the company changed its name to VEON in February 2017) in Bangladesh.
In December 2016 UNI asked the NCP to put the case on hold. VEON had expressed concerns with respect to the NCP procedure and explained that it could not continue to participate in it. UNI and VEON attempted to resolve the issue directly. Between January and September 2017 several meetings and conference calls between parties took place. In September 2017, the NCP received a letter from UNI, requesting the NCP to resume the specific instance, in this letter UNI described the course of the attempts to come to an agreement with VEON. VEON was given the opportunity to give a reaction on the letter of UNI. It became clear to the NCP that the issues described in the notification were not resolved.
As the parties did not accept the NCP's good offices and mediation, the NCP decided to conclude the case and published a final statement on 11 February 2020. In its final statement, the NCP recommended that VEON design policies and measures to promote and facilitate the freedom of association in the company, its subsidiaries, and in its business relationships. The NCP recommended that VEON address its international obligations concerning the freedom of association and collective bargaining, and that the company use its leverage towards its daughter company, Banglalink.
On 23 March 2022, the NCP published a follow up report noting that, despite showing a willingness to leverage its daughter company, VEON’s actions had not led to any changes in policy and position regarding the recognition of fundamental labour rights of workers nor with respect to having a formal social dialogue.
Based on the information provided during the evaluation, the NCP found that VEON had not adequately addressed any of the NCP recommendations. Therefore, the NCP is of the opinion that VEON has not acted in accordance with the Guidelines, especially concerning Chapter I (Concepts and Principles), art. 2, on obeying domestic laws and honouring principles and standards of the Guidelines.