On 9 December 2020, AK EUROPA, together with the ÖGB Europabüro, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) launched a campaign, which shall increase the pressure on the EU Commission to present an ambitious regulation on due diligence in 2021.
European companies, which in their native countries comply with all laws in an exemplary fashion, internationally often cooperate with exploitative suppliers that disregard fundamental human rights – with impunity! In doing so, many destroy the environment, ignore workers’ and trade union rights, expel indigenous peoples from their land or support modern slavery. Those, who oppose this global corporate abuse, such as trade unionists, human rights activists, lose their job, are imprisoned, disappear or worse.
A powerful law for corporate responsibility
The European Commission has announced that it will present a legislative proposal on due diligence during the 2nd quarter 2021 to ensure that companies will be hold accountable for violations along their supply chains. A public consultation has been launched for the Commission to learn from citizens as to how companies have to draw up new due diligence rules.
In order for this law to work, it must
- Cover human rights, environmental and social effects across the entire supply chain
- Bare teeth to ensure that companies, which break the rules, have to expect harsh penalties
- Make companies liable for bad practices both at home and abroad
- Ensure that trade unions can negotiate collective agreements and that labour representatives are involved in every step of the due diligence process
- Guarantee that companies always confer with (potentially) affected people and communities – and in certain cases are obliged to obtain their consent
- Making it easier for victims of corporate abuse, trade unions and civil society to access justice at EU courts
AK President Anderl demands responsibility in the supply chain
“Companies must be hold accountable. It is insufficient when they only comply with applicable laws in their native countries, but cooperate with businesses along the supply chain, which trample on human rights, deny trade union rights and destroy the environment“, said AK President Anderl to support the launch of the campaign. ÖGB President Katzian reminds us that “responsible politics must not accept that people are recklessly exploited under inhumane conditions in order to bolster the profits of unscrupulous companies, thereby inadvertently destroying the environment and the livelihood of their country forever”.
Support the campaign now
The broadest possible support is required to ask the commission to act: the more people participate within the framework of the Consultation, the sooner the European Commission will change the rules of the game to enforce labour and human rights as well as the protection of the environment. The Campaign website enables participants to contribute to the Commission’s Consultation until 8 February 2021.
Follow the Campaign on twitter: #HoldBizAccountable, #Rules4Corporations