By Oliver Roethig, UNI Europa Regional Secretary
Together with 88 trade unions and NGOs, UNI Europa is looking for a bold EU initiative that legally requires companies and financial institutions to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for abuses of human rights, including workers’ and trade union rights, as well as environmental damage by their operations, subsidiarites or through their value chain. We want a transparent system where companies are obliged to involve right holders, in particular workers, their unions and affected communities, in the negotiation and implementation of due diligence plans.
We can build on legislation enacted already in some countries like France and on the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety signed by multinational companies, UNI Global Union and IndustriAll.
As trade unions, we see across the world that too many companies do not take their obligations seriously. In our field, workers’ rights, we hear much about good corporate citizenship and CSR. In fact, exploitative working conditions, violations of trade union and workers’ rights are abundant across the world, not least in major European multinational companies and their value chain.
The EU should lead the way globally – now.