UNITED AGAINST CORRUPTION
UNIS CONTRE LA CORRUPTION
A Global Unions Anti-corruption Network
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April-03 Corruption Postings
Trade unions combating corruption
Attempted Arrest of Trade Unionist for Exposing Corruption
In February 2003, non-uniformed police arrived at the offices of PSLINK, an organisation of leaders of public sector unions in the Philippines, to arrest the General Secretary, Annie Geron, following the trade union's exposure of high level corruption. Union members surrounded Annie to prevent her arrest and the police, who had no written arrest warrant, withdrew. PSLINK had filed a complaint with the Philippines Ombudsman against the Director General of the Technical Education Skills Department Authority (TESDA), Dante V. Liban for the misuse of public funds. A fact-finding committee investigated the charges and its report, released in February 2003, held Dante V. Liban accountable and responsible for the embezzlement and misuse of public funds. PSLINK is asking all those who are concerned about combating corruption to pressurise the President to carry out a full investigation. (Full story).
Curtailing the Economics of Greed
In the wake of Enron and other corporate scandals, the issue of corporate governance is attracting attention as never before. It is time for a fundamental rethink of the global system of corporate governance. For its part, in March 2003, the TUAC (the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD) hosted a Global Unions Meeting on Corporate Governance to explore the various routes through which the labour movement can work to strengthen corporate governance. These include the development of Global Unions’ positions on corporate governance, the establishment of a Global Unions’ Advisory Panel and continued participation in OECD and World Bank work on corporate governance, including the renegotiation of the OECD Principles.
The forthcoming 11th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) being held in Korea at the end of May 2003 (see below) is also placing corporate governance at the top of its agenda. Speakers will explore the challenges and opportunities in a plenary session on "Profits with Integrity" and in six workshops covering lessons learnt, the adequacy of voluntary standards, the role of lawyers and accountants and emerging good practice. The IACC is currently hosting an e-discussion "Is there an Accountability Deficit? moderated by John Bray of Control Risks Group and Kathryn Gordon of the OECD- which goes on until the 1st May 03. To subscribe send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Empowering Trade Unions and Civil Society to Combat Corruption
The Romanian trade union, the National Trade Union Bloc, is managing an anti-corruption project within the framework of the Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative (SPAI). It is being funded by a small grants programme for civil society organisations set up by the OECD and funded by the U.S. State Department and the Swiss Government.
The trade union project, the Anti-corruption Partnership Media and Trade Unions in Action, aims to: promote pro-active civic attitudes against corruption; encourage and strengthen the media by raising awareness of the civic and political impact of their investigative reports; provide the public with a comparative and independent account of corruption; empower citizens and trade union members to act against corruption by providing information on the relevant institutions and procedures; and improve the co-ordination of civil society organisations, trade-unions and journalists. (Further information).
Bribery Watch – Evidence on French-owned companies
The OECD is monitoring the implementation of its Anti-bribery Convention - legislation which requires all OECD countries to criminalise the act of bribing a foreign public official. The Convention is the most targeted of the international anti-corruption instruments and is specifically focused on curbing the corrupt activities of multinational companies. The OECD is holding hearings to assess the progress being made by its member countries. The next country to be reviewed is France, on 23-27 June 2003. The trade union contribution is being coordinated through the TUAC, which is being supported by UNICORN. Trade unions, and civil society organisations, in France, other OECD countries, developing and transitional countries are invited to contribute. If you have any information on corruption allegations involving French companies or would like to know more about the OECD Convention, then contact UNICORN (email@example.com) or visit the OECD Convention pages of the UNICORN web site.
Republic of Korea Hosts 11th International Anti-corruption Conference
The 11th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), is being held in Seoul, South Korea from May 25-28th 2003. The conference theme, “Different Cultures, Common Values” is being addressed by high profile speakers such as Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the activist and novelist Aruna Roy. Trade unionists are making contributions as speakers in the plenary session on the Relation of State and Society and in workshops on Civil Society, the OECD Convention and Corruption and Economic Reforms. There's still time to register: http://www.11iacc.org/.
Reports and Sources
UNICORN is writing reports and compiling a range of sources of interest to those working to hold corrupt multinational companies to account, which are all accessible through its web site.
Trade Union Network Contact Points
UNICORN works with Network Contact Points (NCPs) - trade unionists around the world working to combat corruption. If you are an affiliate of TUAC, ICFTU, PSI, or any other ITS, or associated research body and would like to be an NCP, then please complete this form.
UNICORN is a joint initiative of the TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD), the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and Public Services International (PSI) - part of the Global Unions family.
UNICORN aims to mobilise workers to share information and coordinate action to combat international corruption.
UNICORN is managed by PSIRU, a research unit specialising in critical research into public services, restructuring and privatisation worldwide: www.psiru.org/corruption; firstname.lastname@example.org
UNICORN is financed by the Wallace Global Fund