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Turkish Metal Workers Register Labour Relations Concerns at Systemair AB

12 January 2021

The Turkish Metal Workers Union, BİRLESİK METAL-İŞ  filed a specific instance with the Sweden National Contact Point of the OECD.  The submission under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises is the latest NCP complaint to address industrial relations issues arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The union alleges industrial relations and employment impacts (Chapter V of the Guidelines) that have been intensified by Systemair AB reaction to Covid-19.  According to the employment and industrial relations chapter of the OECD Guidelines, multinational enterprises should respect workers’ rights to form unions and collectively bargain.  Systemair has contested the government certification and the union alleges the company has taken actions that reduce the number of union workers at the plant.

Systemair Group reported 6,018 employees and 79 operating companies, with global revenues of SEK 8.9 billion  (€891 million) in 2019/2020.  Systemair claims 100% of its strategic suppliers comply with its code of conduct. The OECD Guidelines are not referenced in the 2019/2020 Systemair Group Annual Report.

According to the report, thirty-nine percent of Systemair employees (2,416) were covered by collective bargaining agreements in 2019/2020, reflecting a 2% decline (116 workers) in bargaining coverage from the previous reporting year.  Permanent employment declined in the Nordic region, but stayed the same or grew in all other reported regions.

The TUAC urges the Sweden NCP to ensure the swiftest and most effective resolution of the issues raised by the union.

The global scope and  scale of impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic requires a global forum for trade uni0n dialogue.  The OECD is in the  position to provide that forum. The TUAC has issued a recommendation on Making Good Use of the Guidelines in Covid-19 response.  Details of the case are available in the TUAC Database.