Jun 24, 2011 at 11:31 AM
written by

Trade Unions Ready To Ambush World Cup Sponsorship

We're used to seeing sponsors ambushed by competitors around major soccer events, but what about trade unions? As DHL is gearing up to activate its FIFA Women's World Cup sponsorship, two trade unions are launching World Cup-themed campaigns of their own in an attempt to inspire change within the company. The efforts, led by UNI global union and the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), are aimed at exposing what they say are a range of human rights violations within the global logistics company, based not far from where the tournament is being held in Germany.

UNI and the ITF say that Deutsche Post is using the Women’s World Cup to present itself as a company that fights for human rights, equality and fairness. Yet, they allege, employees around the world report that DHL regularly violates these principles – and they have listed those accusations in a handy World Cup planner (see below) that union representatives say will be distributed at World Cup matches.

“Just last month we laid out a range of complaints made by DHL workers worldwide alleging that they had suffered intimidation, wrongful dismissals, low safety standards, scare tactics and general exploitation. Some had even been made to take lie detector tests," UNI global union head of post and logistics, Neil Anderson, explained. "Meanwhile in some countries outside Germany trade unions struggling to improve working conditions had been suppressed.”

“DHL's record is about as far from fair play, human rights and equality as you can get, and that’s why, as part of this campaign for change, we’ll be handing out a ‘fixture list’ of World Cup competitor nations where DHL is reported to have fouled its own team," Ingo Marowsky, ITF organising globally coordinator, said.

Just one more thing to think about as your planning your next sponsorship! Any lawyers out there want to weigh in on how this plays out?