The Indian operations and management of German Logistics giant DP-DHL has come under fire from International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and UNI Global Union for alleged gross abuse of workers’ rights including widespread mistreatment, serious victimization, enforcing punitive transfers of staff by moving them hundreds of miles away from their families and homes at almost no notice, forced re-grading of personnel to try and prevent them joining a trade union.
Mr Ingo Marowsky, ITF global head, Supply Chain and Logistics paid visit to Delhi to make first hand assessment of alleged workforce abuses of DHL in India. His visit coincided with the release of report by US academic John Logan of San Francisco State University and the University of California-Berkeley on multiple allegations of widespread mistreatment of staff at in DHL India. Upon investigation, Professor Logan found that German supply chain giant is culpable of serious victimization; punitive transfers of staff, moving them hundred of miles away from their families and homes at almost no notice; and forced re-grading of personnel to try and prevent them joining a trade union.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Mr Marowsky remarked: The widespread accusation of persistent victimization are extremely serious and –in their effects on workers and their families –heart-rending. “They are so grave that we asked Professor Logan to investigate. Sadly, he has found them to be well founded. This substantiates the testimonies I have heard this week in India, including that the company has taken out over 20 injunctions in an attempt to muzzle workers and their union. I hope that his report and German television’s recent expose will stir DP-DHL into action to address what is clearly going seriously and publicly wrong with its management in India”.
He continued: “DP-DHL claimed to have conducted a full review of what was happening in India last year- but only conducted random and anonymous investigation and repeatedly refused to confirm they had actually interviewed any of the workers who’d been victimized, or union representatives. That startling omission underlined the need for an outside investigation”.
Mr Stephen Dematteo head of Post & Logistics at UNI Global Union said: “We are gravely concerned by the findings of Professor Logan’s report as well as those confirmed in the past week by our colleagues at the ITF> UNI is committed to work with ITF to resolve the issues in DHL’s Indian operations. UNI calls upon DHL to take action now to ensure workers’ rights are respected in India and everywhere DP-DHL does business.”
Local and national DHL India managers have threatened, intimidated and discriminated against pro-union workers. Management has used long distance punitive staff transfers to target union activists and threaten their colleagues. DHL management has actively attempted to undermine existing unions. Management eliminated a union in Kolkata in 2004.
It is now fighting efforts by couriers to join their union of choice. Since 2005-2006 it has deliberately attempted to convert couriers into hoax “managerial: level employees to try and stop them joining a union. Management has pursued a legal strategy that is intended to tie this dispute up in the courts for years. The company’s behavior is contrary to its behavior in its home country, and violates international conventions and global labour standards, says a release on 16th March 2015 from ITF quoting Professor Logan report titled “Source: Intimidation, misclassification and obstruction: DHL’s strategy to undermine labour rights in India”. An email enquiry to DHL India from Sagar Sandesh regarding ITF &UNI charges against the company has evoked no response.