The conference concludes a two-year European project, during which lessons were drawn from discussions on the practical experiences of worker representatives regarding due diligence policies implemented in their multinational companies, where such policies are in operation. The findings are unambiguous: most European companies fail to secure the respect of workers’ rights, human rights and environmental standards all along their supply chains.

Moreover, the lack of insight into the supply chains of European companies is very worrying. Transparency is lacking regarding the structure and operation of supply chains, both beyond the first tier of suppliers and European borders. The lack of legally binding rules in most Member States, and the many loopholes in the existing due diligence law adopted in a handful of countries, are not helping.

Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary of industriAll Europe, said:

‘’When we say we want responsible business conduct, we mean it! We will continue to push the EU institutions for a legal framework that makes it mandatory for all companies to be transparent about their business models, accountable for their actions, and managed in the interest of society.”

A video documentary, produced within the framework of the European project, explains the situation very clearly, including the arguments of European and international trade union organisations. All arrive at the same conclusion: a European, legally binding instrument is long overdue.

Originally due in June 2021, the proposal for an EU law on sustainable corporate governance, including due diligence, has been postponed again and again, without any explanation or relevant reason. Workers and their trade union organisations stand ready to mobilise against this unacceptable lack of political action.

Judith Kirton-Darling:

After the many meetings and talks we had with European Commission officials, after bringing a wealth of evidence to their attention, and given the undisputable support of civil society for political action, we cannot accept the silence and status quo.

"Every further delay in triggering the legislative procedure on a binding EU law on due diligence is an offence to the millions of workers and citizens around the world suffering from mismanaged European companies. The time to act is now!”

IndustriAll Europe's demands towards mandatory responsible business conduct: EN, DE, FR
Syndex’s European project on due diligence: Link
Syndex’s video documentary: Link

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Aline Conchon (senior policy adviser)