The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Recommendations for Responsible Business Conduct in a Global Context, 14 October 2013
TUAC Submission to the OECD Investment Committee and the Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct. 14 October 2013



  • TUAC-10-13-mt-submission-Fin-CORRpdf


TUAC calls on governments attending the meetings of the Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct and the Investment Committee to:

- Business Relationships: affirm that the term "business relationships’’ under the OECD Guidelines cover the relationships of Financial Institutions;

- Minority Shareholdings: affirm that that the term "business relationships" under the OECD Guidelines covers minority shareholdings;

- Interpretation of "impact is…directly linked to their operations, products or services by a business relationship": request the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to make an interpretive statement on the intention of the qualification "directly" in the phrase "impact is… directly linked to their operations, products or services by a business relationship. Given that the origin of this terminology is from the UNGPs then the only legitimate option is to ask the OHCHR for a statement explaining the term. TUAC opposes this issue being referred to the multi-stakeholder Advisory Group;

- Oppose any exemptions: oppose any proposal that the OECD should make a decision to exempt, peremptorily, any organisation from the OECD Guidelines, whether a Sovereign Wealth Fund, a Central Bank or any other organisation. Any carve out would set a highly dangerous precedent that would risk irreparable damage to the OECD Guidelines, as well as to the UN Guiding Principles, as it would open the door for other sectors to seek a similar exemption;

- Sovereign Wealth Funds: Affirm that the Guidelines apply to all groups of investors, whether they are operated or owned by the State or are private investors (see BOX 1);

- Textile and Garment Industry: develop jointly with the ILO, BIAC, TUAC and OECD Watch a forward-looking agenda for the proposed OECD/ILO Forum in 2014 that puts workers, trade unions and mature industrial relations at the centre and takes account of the failed models of the past. 90 brands have signed the binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh signalling company support for a new approach. TUAC confirms that three of the issues on the draft agenda of the Forum would be priorities from a trade union perspective: trade union rights (freedom of association and collective bargaining); living wage; and buying practices. It would suggest two further topics: anti-trust (competition); and Burma;

- NCP Performance: re-balance the implementation of the mandate of the WPRBC and develop an ambitious work programme to improve NCP performance. TUAC calls on governments, in particular Norway, to make voluntary contributions to this activity;

- Proactive Agenda: Stop the proliferation of projects under the proactive agenda at the OECD level and consider a less bureaucratic approach to proactive agenda projects including re-visiting the principles, which are not being applied and which have been re-written in the proposal on the Textile and Garment Industry (DAF/INV/RBC/RD(2013/18), paragraph 6, page 3);

- Meetings of NCPs: hold meetings of the National Contact Points at a minimum twice a year. If resources are a constraint then TUAC proposes that number of meetings of the WPRBC be reduced to twice a year;