The protestors used banners and posters at the event to highlight reported victimisation of trade union activists and how the national management breaks the company’s own code of conduct and infringes OECD guidelines for global multinational companies. Union activists say this includes trade unionists being forcibly transferred from their home depots, and hundreds of Indian pick-up and delivery workers being labelled as fake managers and thus deprived of their right to collectively bargain through their unions of choice.
In a letter to N Vasudevan, president of the DHL Employees’ Union, the head of employee relations for DHL Express, Anil Khot, accused the union of choosing “to engage in a grave act of betrayal and treachery, taking recourse to direct action of demonstration and agitation, when the company has provided you forum of interaction of discussion and dialogue for resolving any matter across the table”. Khot concludes: “The company reserves its right to take appropriate action against all those workmen involved in accordance with Law.”
N Vasudevan told the ITF: “What Mr Khot claims is what DHL does not practice. DHL says couriers are not workers, so there is no question of them having union rights and collective bargaining.”
The global ITF/UNI network of DP-DHL unions held its annual conference in Mumbai in November 2014. It issued a resolution calling on DHL India management to immediately cease intimidation and harassment against activists and union officials, suspend all punitive actions, return all forcibly transferred trade unionists back to their home depot, abolish the fake managerial grading system and grant all staff the right to organise and collectively bargain.
DHL is one of the global delivery multinationals targeted by the ITF to give its workers across the world a voice to demand the social and employment rights they deserve – find out more about ITF supply chain & logistics.
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