The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reprimanded Just Eat Takeaway for blocking union formation

Dutch company Just Eat Takeaway breached international guidelines guaranteeing the right to union representation. This is the conclusion reached by the National Focal Point for OECD Guidelines (NCP) in The Hague after more than a year of research.

According to findings published on Wednesday, the Amsterdam head office stayed out of the way when complaints were received from bike couriers working in Israel for 10bis, a full-fledged subsidiary of Just Eat Takeaway. They experienced opposition and intimidation when trying to join a union.

Read also: Angry meal delivery workers in Israel take issue with Just Eat Takeaway over unionization

When the trade union FNV raised this matter with the Israeli trade union, with the head of the Dutch company, they did not want to get involved in the “domestic issue”. Wrong about that, says the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development hotline, based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Dutch leader should have discussed the reports with “local stakeholders” in Israel, including the Histadrut trade union. “It will ignore the OECD ruling,” a Just Eat Takeaway spokesperson said in a short written response.

The guidelines of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an association of 38 rich industrialized nations, are not legally binding, but they are authoritative. Its violation leads to reputational damage. That makes a painful judgment for the globally active delivery giant Just Eat Takeaway, active in the Netherlands as It tries to present itself as a social business, among other things by working more often with its employees and temporary workers in the delivery sector, who have more rights than freelancers without employees. Although the company came back from this on Tuesday in the UK. You will only work with the self-employed there: about 1,700 bicycle couriers will lose their jobs.

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According to Just Eat Takeaway, employees are free to join a labor union, a right also enshrined in OECD guidelines. But those working in Israel did not see that freedom described Norwegian Refugee Council in 2021.

evil rumors

Bicycle courier Adam Steiner, who took the initiative in Israel to organize the workforce into a union, was at first a popular employee who was promoted and even appeared on television on behalf of the company. But as soon as he started union activities, he noticed that the attitudes of management had changed. He saw his shifts reduced from fifty to fifteen hours a week.

According to the staff of 10bis, malicious and false rumors were spread about the syndicate. He would like to close the company on Shabbat and expel all Israeli Arabs. Suddenly an organization came along to help employees cancel their union membership. This organization, Taharut (“competition” in Hebrew), is funded by an extreme right-wing forum and works against unions in more companies. The syndicate suspected that the organization was being employed by the management of 10bis. The founder of Taharout denied this Norwegian Refugee CouncilHowever, he confirmed that he knew the company’s lawyer.

Read also: Just Eat Takeaway Israeli daughter turns to courier who brought union

At the request of the Israeli trade union Histadrut, the trade union urged FNV in the Netherlands to involve the head office in Amsterdam. When Just Eat Takeaway refused, the union approached the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The point of contact at the OECD had hoped to be able to mediate between labor unions and the meal delivery company. When Just Eat Takeaway refused to cooperate, the point of contact launched its own investigation.

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Take responsibility

The point of contact does not assess the extent to which employees are actually barred from joining the union, but does indicate that there are “indications” of this.

Now Just Eat Takeaway is where the parent company still has to take responsibility, according to the OECD’s point of contact. The company, together with the subsidiary 10bis, must make it clear to employees that they are free to join a trade union, and that this will not have any negative consequences.

In Israel, according to the OECD focal point, 10bis and the Histadrut trade union must discuss how to guarantee the right to form free trade unions.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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