French legal action may benefit UK XPO workers in their pension contributions’ dispute
- Tuesday 1 October 2019
A landmark French legal move could lead to improved employment conditions for workers at XPO Logistics UK, who are currently embroiled in a dispute over pension contributions not being credited to some employees.
The move is being used to force road transport and logistics giant XPO Logistics Europe, whose headquarters are in France, to take the necessary steps to stamp out human rights abuses in its supply chain. It is the first such action against a global transport company.
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, believes that a successful legal action in France will add pressure to help resolve its dispute affecting some of its nearly 3,000 UK members who have not being credited with the right contributions to their pension ‘pots’.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and an alliance of unions, including Unite, are bringing the action against the company using the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law.
Unite national officer for road transport and logistics Matt Draper said: “This legal action in France demonstrates why we have to be on our guard in the UK where we are currently engaged in a dispute over the non-payment of pension contributions to some of our nearly 3,000 members.
“We hope that the UK issues will be resolved in the coming weeks, but the French case adds to the pressure on XPO management that its employment practices are under the legal spotlight.
“We hope this move in France is successful, and it will improve transparency in its supply chains and engagement with the unions.
“Our members are sick of the continuing problems about their pay and pension payments not being calculated correctly – this is despite past promises from the bosses that these issues are being resolved.
“This legal action in France, to which Unite is party, may act as the necessary lever that ensures that multinational giant XPO plays by the rules and treats its worldwide workforce with decency and respect.
“This move in France has never been used before to hold a global transport company to account.”
The XPO operation embraces 32 countries with 100,000 employees – this includes 56,000 under its European arm.
Notes to editors:
The law is French and is being used against a French company, but its reach is global because the company's obligations apply equally to the operations of its foreign subsidiaries and to its international business relationships. The law holds businesses to certain obligations in relation to the human rights of their workers, local communities and others affected by their operations around the world.
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.