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2 Aug 2021

UNI Global Union

French OECD Contact Point calls on Teleperformance to strengthen due diligence to ensure workers’ rights & safety are respected - UNI statement

"French OECD contact point calls on Teleperformance to strengthen efforts to ensure respect for human rights, worker safety", 2 August 2021

The French National Contact Point (NCP) to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has issued a strong set of recommendations for Paris-based call centre giant Teleperformance to correct shortcomings in worker health and safety protocols and the right to freedom of association throughout the company’s global operations.

One significant recommendation is that company should “strengthen its due diligence and engagement with stakeholders representing workers in order to ensure the respect for the right of freedom of association and collective bargaining of workers as provided for in the OECD Guidelines.”

The NCP’s referrals come in response to a specific instance UNI Global Union and French trade unions submitted that detailed shocking, unsanitary conditions in Teleperformance’s call centres during the pandemic along with retaliation and union busting against workers who organized for better conditions.

The April 2020 filing alleges that these abuses violated workers’ rights, as defined by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, in ten countries including Albania, Colombia, France, Greece, India, Philippines, and the United Kingdom. Teleperformance call centres in the complaint provide support for some of the largest companies in the world including Apple, Google, Amazon, and Orange.

“Emphasizing the importance of social dialogue, trade unions, and independent, worker-led safety committees, these recommendations provide a clear roadmap for Teleperformance to strengthen compliance with internationally recognized human rights standards and ensure workplace health and safety,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union.

“We thank the NCP a thorough examination of the facts, and we call on the company to follow this guidance by meaningfully engaging with worker representatives locally and globally,” she continued...

...UNI’s submission to the OECD also documented a pattern of retaliation against workers who organized during the pandemic. Teleperformance fired union leaders in Albania and Colombia soon after their support for the union was made public...

The company’s actions in dismissing workers in these two countries were, according to the NCP, “contrary to the freedom of association of workers, as recommended by the OECD Guidelines, thus akin to anti-union practices."*

The NCP calls on Teleperformance to “ensure, as soon as possible, that its Albanian and Colombian subsidiaries respect the right of workers to form or join trade unions and representative organizations of their choice.”

On a global level, the company should “exercise a particularly strengthened vigilance in cases of dismissals involving staff representatives, trade union representatives and unionized workers in its countries of activities. The NCP recommends that the Group provide appropriate remediation measures if cases of non-compliance with the OCED Guidelines are found.”...

The NCP pledges to follow up with its recommendations in twelve months...