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Little to see on DuPont tour


August 16, 2004
By Pulp & Paper Canada

A tour that was supposed to give delegates a chance to visit PACE-represented DuPont facilities, attend negotiation…

A tour that was supposed to give delegates a chance to visit PACE-represented DuPont facilities, attend negotiations and witness the experiences of union members, went awry.

The tour took place in April of this year and was organized by the Dupont Union Council. Invited was a delegation of European union officials. However, only one out of six plants granted an actual facility tour to visitors.

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The DuPont union council, part of PACE, has issued a European delegation report and according to the union, the results leave something to be desired. Adapted from independent testimony, the report is a culmination of delegate impressions and contact with U.S. DuPont workers. The council claims the company failed to incorporate the United Nation’s Global Compact principles in its mission statement and business conduct guide.

"We were not allowed to pay a visit inside the plant," confirmed a European employee. "The furthest we managed to go was a guard room by the entrance. I was very surprised by not being allowed to enter the plant."

Gary Guralny, president of the DuPont Union Council, was unimpressed with the outcome of the tour. "Frankly, I am embarrassed for our local plant management," he said. "They had an opportunity to show the delegates that, even though we may have some differences, deep down both the union and company are mainly concerned with safety and doing the job right. Instead of witnessing workers and managers cooperate, we were stopped at the gate and forced to stay in the parking lot."

According to union chairman Ken Test’s impression of the report, the delegates felt the respect of workers in the U.S. was much worse that what they are accustomed to in Europe.


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