Friday, June 24, 2011

Freight And Logistics Giant Deutsche Post - DHL Slated By Unions

Catalogue of Allegations Against World Cup Sponsors
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – After being accused of numerous cases of unfair treatment by present and former employees today two global unions say they will be launching a further campaign against Deutsche Post/DHL the specialist freight and logistics group when the company sponsors the forthcoming Women’s Football World Cup which is taking place in Germany from 26th June to 17th July.

The UNI global union and the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation)who together represent over seven million workers accuse the German-based multinational’s subsidiary, the logistics giant DHL, of committing fouls against its own team and are proffering the ‘red card’ saying that Deutsche Post is using the Women’s World Cup to present itself as a company that fights for human rights, equality and fairness. Yet, they allege, employees around the world report that DHL regularly violates these principles – and they have listed those accusations in a ‘World Cup planner’ that they will be distributing at matches which you can see HERE. UNI global union head of post and logistics, Neil Anderson, explains their reasons for the campaign:

“Just last month we laid out a range of complaints made by DHL workers worldwide alleging that they had suffered intimidation, wrongful dismissals, low safety standards, scare tactics and general exploitation. Some had even been made to take lie detector tests. Meanwhile in some countries outside Germany trade unions struggling to improve working conditions had been suppressed.”

Ingo Marowsky, ITF organising globally coordinator, commented:

“DHL's record is about as far from fair play, human rights and equality as you can get, and that’s why, as part of this campaign for change, we’ll be handing out a ‘fixture list’ of World Cup competitor nations where DHL is reported to have fouled its own team.”

The allegations made by the unions are very specific and the ‘fixture list’ states:

Canada - DHL workers were threatened with job losses if they did not agree to contract concessions. Finally, after an agreement was signed, DHL ignored the agreed-upon payments and continued requiring 10 hour work days.

Colombia - DHL used former military personnel to administer lie detector tests to its workers. The interrogations put workers under extreme stress and were often followed by firing. DHL has refused to end its use of the controversial polygraph tests.

New Zealand - DHL initially refused to extend the collective bargaining agreement to cover women – mostly from Polynesia – who were working as clerks and administrators. After the women organised to fight back against this unequal treatment the issue was finally resolved months later.

Norway - DHL recently fired a Norwegian union activist, citing unexcused absences as a cause. Yet the activist is sure that it was her trade union work that was what was really causing problems for DHL.

USA - DHL has twice been found to be in violation of the country´s labour laws for using “restraint, interference and coercion” and denying workers the right to freely choose union representation.

Germany - Germany, trade union activity is allowed, so no one has to worry that it might lead to an unfair dismissal. Employees are represented through workers’ councils and are able to set their wages by collective bargaining. DHL's responsible record in Germany contrasts with its exploitative conduct abroad.

UNI and the ITF say they are calling on DHL to play fair and respect its employees. They are asking the company to sign a global framework agreement that will guarantee all 470,000 DHL employees worldwide the same minimum standards with trade union representation plus the promotion of women to leadership positions and a consistent observance of human and labour rights.

Photo:-Womens football has fouls all of its own!