Failure to respect employees' rights in India
Lead NCPUnited Kingdom
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the trade union IUF regarding the activities of Unilever PLC, a UK-based multinational enterprise operating in India.
Theme(s)Employment and industrial relations, General policies
Date19 Oct 2007
Host country(ies)India
SourceTrade Union
Industry sectorManufacturing

Read the final statement issued by the UK NCP concluding the specific instance - 18 October 2010

Read the follow-up statement issued by the UK NCP - February 2013

In October 2007, the UK NCP received a request for review from International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF) alleging that Hindustan Unilever Limited, a subsidiary of Unilever PLC, (Unilever) had breached the general policies, and employment and industrial relations provisions of the Guidelines for failing to respect the right of employees to be represented by a legitimate trade union at the Doom Dooma factory in India. IUF alleged that employees were forced to renounce their membership of the Hindustan Lever Workers Union (PPF) to join a union established by the management, Hindustan Lever Democratic Workers Union.

On 20 June 2008, the NCP suspended their review in light of the PFF’s decision to petition the High Court of India for a supervised election. The specific instance was thus reviewed in the light of the NCP’s parallel proceeding guidance and on March 2010, the NCP offered conciliation/mediation, which was accepted by both parties. The NCP appointed an external conciliator-mediator and conciliation meetings were held in May and July 2010. However, mediation was not required as the parties agreed on a mutually acceptable solution to the issues through conciliation. The full text of this agreement is found in the final statement issued by the NCP on 18 October 2010. The UK NCP accordingly concluded the specific instance.

A follow-up statement was prepared by the UK NCP to report on the implementation of IUF and Unilever's agreement. The parties reviewed this follow-up statement before it was issued and agreed that they regard their agreement as implemented.