Case story

  • Germany

OECD NCP Mexico - Germanwatch vs. Continental AG

2002

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Story

Continental’s subsidiary, Euzkadi, closed its tire factory in Mexico without proper notification to employees and trade unions. Prior to the closure, problems between Continental and the trade union had existed. One month after Euzkadi closed the factory, the trade union went on strike. Furthermore the closure was not in accordance with Mexican laws.


Outcome

The complaint was accepted by the German NCP in May 2002, but later transferred to the Mexican NCP in June 2002. After a lengthy legal battle, Mexico’s highest court ruled the closure was “existent” in February 2004, which has been interpreted by Mexican lawyers that the closure was illegal.

The conflict was settled in the presence of the Mexican President Vicente Fox in January 2005. After a three-year strike against the illegal closure of the factory, the workers have achieved the fulfillment of their most important demands: the factory has been reopened and they are back to their jobs. The workers have received a total of 50 percent in shares of the tire factory.

Although this case was not resolved by the German or Mexican NCPs, the complainants believe the case served as a tool for international pressure.

Contributor(s): This article was modified by Kyle (6).