"Free Speech and Freedom of Association: Finding the Balance" - paper by Intl. Trade Union Confederation critiques defence of US-style anti-union campaigns by employer groups
In June 2013, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) issued a position paper: Free Speech and Freedom of Association: Finding the Balance. It states, "The fundamental right to freedom of association guarantees that workers are able to form and join trade unions free from any interference from employers and governments...[The] International Organisation of Employers (IOE) is now attempting to undermine that principle by arguing, in the name of freedom of expression, that anti-union campaigns meant to discourage workers from forming or joining a union are consistent with international standards...[and] that anti-union campaigns may be an obligation of employers....[The] IOE relies heavily on...a 2010 decision by the ILO...concerning Delta Airlines’ campaign to encourage workers to 'shred' their union election ballots." The paper also includes a case study regarding Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary T-Mobile USA.
The document by the International Organisation of Employers to which the ITUC position paper is responding is: "A Response by the International Organisation of Employers to the Human Rights Watch Report - 'A Strange Case: Violations of Workers’ Freedom of Association in the United States by European Multinational Corporations'", 1 May 2011.
We have invited the IOE to respond to the ITUC paper. It has indicated that it will send a response, which we will post here.
We invited Delta Air Lines and Deutsche Telekom to respond to the ITUC paper:
Delta Air Lines sent the following documents in response:
- "Observations...to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association...in response to the complaint...by the Association of Flight Attendants [and other unions]" [PDF], US Council for Intl. Business and Delta Air Lines, 25 Jan 2010
- "Response of Delta Air Lines, Inc. to AFA's Supplemental Motion for Board Determination of Carrier Interference" [PDF], before US National Mediation Board, Delta Air Lines, 20 Jun 2008
US Council for Intl. Business also sent the following documents:
- Letter to Intl. Organisation of Employers re compatibility of freedom of expression & freedom of association [PDF], Karen Curtis, Deputy Director of Intl. Labour Standards Department, Intl. Labour Office 12 Jul 2010
- Letter to UN Global Compact re ILO statements on freedom of association & freedom of expression [PDF], Antonio Peñalosa, Secretary-General, Intl. Organisation of Employers 27 Sep 2010