Competitiveness Council excludes unions and workers from fight against human rights violations by companies

Today, the Competitiveness Council adopted its “general approach” for the trialogue negotiations on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD).

“The position taken by the Council is very disappointing to say the least”, says Isabelle Schömann, ETUC Confederal Secretary. “The Council position waters down an already unambitious proposal by the Commission.

“Any serious Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence proposal should give a prominent role to unions and workers representatives to prevent and remedy to human rights violations by companies. The Competitiveness Council position does not provide for sustainable good corporate governance! Like this it will not trigger any behaviour change of businesses as the position allows a company to be judge and jury of their own respect for human rights and the environment. 

“Companies ought to be required by this directive to inform, consult and involve unions and workers’ representatives throughout the whole process of preventing and ending violations of human rights and environmental standards. Their role cannot be reduced to accompanying victims to court.

“Not only the Council position is too little, it also proposes to delay the implementation by companies for up to five years which is unacceptable. Human Rights violations by business should stop now not in 5 years time".