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Unions Take Action at OECD on Sexual Harassment at PepsiCo

Posted to the IUF website 28-Apr-2006

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The IUF and its affiliated trade union in Poland have taken action through the OECD to pressure Frito-Lay Poland, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US-based snack food and beverages giant PepsiCo, to rectify egregious violations of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

The OECD guidelines, whose provisions and implementation procedures have been accepted by all OECD and other adhering governments, establish clear standards governing the relationship between foreign direct investment by multinational companies and the social, political and human rights context in which they operate. The IUF and the Food Secretariat of NSSZ Solidarnosc have now made formal submissions to the OECD's National Contact Points in Poland and the USA in response to ongoing violations of basic human rights by PepsiCo at their snack food plant in Grodziesk, Poland, near Warsaw. The OECD procedures were launched to bring PepsiCo to do what it has steadfastly so far refused: engage in direct negotiations with the trade union representing workers at the plant to reach a satisfactory solution to ongoing management abuses involving sexual harassment and union-busting.

The submissions document gross violations by PepsiCo of the OECD's general and specific guidelines on non-discrimination (which includes sexual harassment) and the rights of all employees to trade union representation and collective bargaining. The submissions specifically request the OECD representatives in the respective countries to facilitate a "tripartite meeting between representatives of PepsiCo Poland, PepsiCo International, the NSZZ Solidarnosc, the IUF and the Polish Government to facilitate a mutually satisfactory resolution of this complaint."

The Polish OECD National Contact Point wrote to Frito-Lay Poland management on April 19, advising them of the submission and giving them two weeks to prepare a response.

The text of the submission to the US OECD National Contact Point is available (in pdf format) on the IUF website by clicking here .