The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Mrs. Ploumen, has said that Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors has to live up to international labour standards. The Minister stated this position answering questions raised by the Socialist Party (SP) in Dutch parliament, following a report on NXP recently published by GoodElectronics.

“NXP is bound to complying with the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises throughout its entire supply chain. Respect for the right to freedom of association and decent work hours are essential,” said Minister Ploumen.

She also made it very clear that when local law is less strict than international standards, the company should follow the international standards.

The report “Unable to connect”, written by SOMO, was published on 2 June at the occasion of NXP’s annual shareholder meeting. It is, among other things, about a recently imposed work schedule at the plant in Thailand that demands workers to work 12 hours per day in a four days on and two days off schedule, which the workers are unhappy about according to the union. The report also describes how union officers are suffering intimidation by the local management. This situation has not yet been resolved.

The report also highlights another case, in the Philippines. Twenty-four union officers of the NXP union in Cavite were illegally dismissed. A settlement that was at least partially favorable to the union was reached a few months later.

A meeting between NXP and SOMO/GoodElectronics is scheduled for the 3rd week of August at the company’s plant in Nijmegen to discuss matters that were brought forward in the report. The Minister applauds such a dialogue. Mrs. Ploumen has asked the Dutch embassies in Thailand and the Philippines to get involved and to follow up on the cases with the local labour unions.

Read the parliamentary questions and Mrs Ploumen’s answers