DHL provides “unsatisfactory” answers over workers’ rights abuses
31 May 2013
The ITF and UNI Global Union led the charges against the company, both inside the AGM and at a protest outside with members of the ver.di union and the Turkish community. Journalists at a press conference beforehand heard accounts from Aysel Simsek, a DHL Turkey employee who believes she was unfairly dismissed, and senior representatives of the ver.di and Tumtis unions, ITF and UNI.
The ITF and UNI claim that the logistics giant would never dare commit in Germany the abuses it practises elsewhere. They have evidence that the company has backed fake unions and unlawfully fired workers in Turkey; used lie detectors against staff in Colombia, Panama and South Africa; and relied on agency workers on lower wages and with no job security in the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.
Speakers at the AGM included ITF global head – supply chain and logistics Ingo Marowsky and UNI Europa post and logistics officer Cornelia Broos.
Marowsky commented afterwards: “The company’s behaviour in many countries where it operates risks alienating shareholders and clients. Around half the speakers at the AGM raised the issue of workers’ rights. Yet it became shockingly clear that not only is Deutsche Post DHL failing to implement its corporate social responsibilities and corporate governance responsibilities but it doesn’t even seem to know what’s going on in its own operations.
“For example, the chief executive officer, Frank Appel, doesn’t know how many unions or works councils they’ve got. They don’t track industrial problems. Court cases apparently ‘just happen’ in such a large company. They are not up to speed with events in DHL Turkey, don¹t want to share their investigation of events there and claim they don’t need a joint investigation. Such unsatisfactory responses do not inspire confidence.”
Marowsky added: “It was interesting to hear Appel admit that under Turkish law DHL does not have either a recognised union or a collective bargaining agreement. The company has denied up till now our claims that it didn’t have a proper union or CBA in Turkey.”
The ITF and UNI, working with the International Labor Rights Forum and SumOfUs, have raised these matters with several major DHL customers, including Adidas, Apple, IKEA and Marks and Spencer, who have put these concerns directly to DHL.
For more information on the DHL campaign visit ‘respect at DHL’ or the ITF’s campaign page.