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Article

3 Oct 2022

Author:
Olena Uvarova

Open statement on human rights violations against employees of Leroy Merlin Ukraine

...The employees of Leroy Merlin Ukraine publicly spoke out and made a petition regarding the inadmissibility of continuing the company's operating in the Russian Federation. In particular, the petition called on the company ADEO group, which controls Leroy Merlin Ukraine, not to contribute to serious human rights violations and to stop doing business in Russia. In the end, this position of the employees of Leroy Merlin Ukraine became the reason for a discriminatory attitude towards them by the "parent company", which was manifested in the prevention of employees who took a position regarding the need for the company to leave the Russian market, to perform labor functions, or significantly restrict them, holding explanatory talks, insisting on voluntary dismissal. In addition, it is known from open sources that from October the company is going to apply massive layoffs for those who did not pass the "filtering". According to the employees, these "filtering measures" do not apply to employees who show loyalty to the management...

Based on the above and taking into account that the described situation may not be individual in nature, but may be repeated at the level of other companies, we call:

...State Labor Inspection:

conduct an unscheduled inspection of Leroy Merlin Ukraine based on the publication in open sources of information regarding the company's gross violations of the human rights of its employees.

Employees of Leroy Merlin Ukraine and its trade union:

join forces to act as an organized workforce rather than separate individuals.

Lawyers and human rights organizations of Ukraine who have expertise in business and human rights issues:

offer legal assistance and other consulting support for employees of Leroy Merlin Ukraine to seek protection of their rights.

UN Global Compact:

draw attention to the facts of gross violations of human rights by ADEO, a member of the UN Global Compact, ensure a response in accordance with the rules and procedures of the UN Global Compact.

Business associations:

conduct training activities for its members on the additional risks to human rights in war.

Suppliers, partners, customers of ADEO:

use the leverage in order to stop gross violations of human rights, up to the termination of relations with the company.

Analytical centers, business and human rights expert community:

strengthen consideration of the human rights risks during war, in particular, take into account the risks for employees who criticize the company's position not to leave the market of the aggressor country without legitimate reasons and a transparent explanation of its business decision, on the part of the company, as well as personal safety risks for such employees in a situation where negative attitudes towards such companies are growing in society...

Part of the following timelines

Ukraine: Global outrage over Russian invasion leads to sanctions, demands for businesses to divest

Ukraine: Leroy Merlin accused of firing employees questioning company's operations in Russia, incl. co. response