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Trade unions from the industrialised countries meeting at the Plenary Session of the TUAC on 15-16 May, 1997 reaffirmed their condemnation of the brutal way in which Renault management has treated, and continues to treat its workers and trade unions at its Vilvoorde plant in Belgium. The closure announcement by the Renault management on 27 February simultaneously breaches the spirit and the letter of Belgian and French regulation, European Directives, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the ILO Tripartite Declaration on Multinationals and Social Policy. Along with other cases it underlines the dangers of acceptance by governments of competitivity at all costs.

The TUAC pledges its continued support for and solidarity with the Vilvoorde workers in their broad based European and international campaign for their jobs and their dignity.

Against the backdrop of increasing globalisation, the Renault case is a glaring example of the need to increase the relevance and implementation of the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises. The Guidelines must be incorporated strongly into the Multilateral Agreement on Investment currently being negotiated at the OECD along with a binding clause respecting core labour rights of the ILO. The implementation of the Guidelines must now be taken seriously by OECD governments and employers if they do not want to see a rejection of international investment.

TUAC's view is that the OECD Guidelines have clearly not been respected by central management in the case of Renault-Vilvoorde with regard to the relationship between a multinational enterprise and its subsidiary, the employment objectives of the home country and the provision of reasonable notice for plant changes.

It calls on the OECD's Committee on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises to condemn the continued flouting of the Guidelines in cases such as this.

It calls on the National Contact Points to pursue the dialogue with the company so as to implement the Guidelines and revoke their decision.

TUAC also calls on the OECD to clarify rapidly the Guidelines with regard to the responsibilities of home management to consult and the "reasonable notice" to be given in cases of planned plant changes, also given the existence of a European Works Council.

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