European companies have been alleged to engage in practices undermining unionisation, allowed for by weak labour law in Southern US states. In so doing these companies violated their commitments to International Labour Organization core labour standards on freedom of association and collective bargaining.

According to AFL-CIO: “Multinational corporations based in Europe have accelerated their foreign direct investment in the Southern states of the United States in the past quarter-century. Some companies honor workersfreedom of association, respect workersorganizing rights and engage in good-faith collective bargaining when workers choose trade union representation. Other firms have interfered with freedom of association, launched aggressive campaigns against employeesorganizing attempts and failed to bargain in good faith when workers choose union representation.”

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) report The Double Standard at Work: European Corporate Investment and Workers’ Rights in the American South documents activities undermining unionisation by Airbus, Fresenius Medical Care, IKEA, LSG Sky Chefs, Nestlé, Schnellecke, Skanska, Volkswagen, Thyssenkrupp and Outokumpu.

More sources on the case:

Company responses compiled by BHRRC.