OECD Spanish Contact Point urges Prosegur to investigate, address human rights in Latin America
MADRID, 10 August 2017—The Spanish OECD National Contact Point (NCP) issued a final report this week urging multi-national security firm Prosegur to carry out “due diligence in its Latin American branches” regarding human rights.
The NCP’s recommendations are in response to a complaint by UNI Global Union alleging a culture of extreme hostility towards workers’ rights—including unjust firings, discrimination, intimidation, and even threats of violence against Prosegur employees for supporting a union. The complaint, filed in 2013, documented violations in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, and Chile.
The NCP’s recommendation of a “due diligence” process means that the company should make sure that the human rights concerns reported by UNI have been investigated and, if necessary, the company should remedy these problems and prevent any recurrence in the future. The NCP wants to monitor the implementation of its recommendations, and has given Prosegur one year to submit a report detailing the steps it has taken. “Due diligence” requires the company to create a process to instil and ensure respect for human rights across all of its operations, including the right to form a union.
“While the company has fixed some specific problems its Latin American operations, a systematic hostility towards workers’ rights remains. The company has not held local management accountable, and in fact, is proud of its ‘decentralized’ labor relations model—which gives a green light for union-busting. We join the National Contact Point in calling for Prosegur to investigate, acknowledge, and cure any and all problems,” said Christy Hoffman, Deputy General Secretary of UNI.
The NCP requested that Prosegur and UNI begin a formal mediation process in 2015, but Prosegur refused.
Hoffman added, “Dialogue with all stakeholders—including global unions—is part of due diligence and essential to ensuring responsible business conduct. We urge Prosegur to involve UNI, its affiliates, and its employees as it re-evaluates how it holds its branches accountable. We call on the company to make this process expedient, inclusive, and thorough. And hope the that report to the NCP will be fully transparent.”
Prosegur is the largest private security firm in Spain and Latin America. It employs roughly 160,000 workers worldwide.
UNI represents more than 20 million workers from more than 150 countries in the fastest growing sectors in the world – skills and services. It has entered into over 50 Global Agreements with multinational companies that have set fair standards and conditions for their more than 10 million workers around the world. UNI Property Services represents cleaners and security workers and has global agreements with the three largest employers in the sector: G4S, Securitas and ISS.
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