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Former employees vs Banro in the DRC

Case overview

Date filed 26 February 2016
Current status Concluded
Issue Severance pay for ex-mining workers in DRC
Summary of the case On 26 February 2016, the Canadian NCP received a complaint from a group of former employees alleging that Banro Corporation, a Canadian multinational enterprise, had breached the OECD Guidelines in its mining operations in Democratic Republic of Congo. The workers allege that the company should provide severance packages, along with other social benefits to the former employees of a subsidiary company that is now in liquidation.
Developments/Outcome The Canadian NCP received a compliant on 26 February 2016 from five former employees of the Société Minière et Industrielle du Kivu (SOMINKI) in liquidation, located in Kalima (South Kivu) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), alleging conduct in the DRC by Banro Corporation, who was majority shareholder of SOMINKI and its successor Sakima SARL until 2002, to be inconsistent with the Guidelines. The Canadian NCP did not offer mediation to the parties, as it felt that in the absence of the DRC government, the dialogue would not provide the necessary accountabilities to facilitate the process needed to resolve the issues at hand. However, based on conservations it had with both parties, the NCP made the following recommendations to Banro, that the company:

1. Make all efforts possible to engage with DRC government officials, in good faith, to promote a timely reactivation of the SOMINKI liquidation process with a view to working with all implicated parties to complete a reconciliation and closure process as soon as possible. It is recommended that this process focus on facilitating an expedited cash payment of the long outstanding ex-employees’ final accounts.

2. Provide a written update to the NCP by 8 September, 2017 addressing what steps the Company has taken to address the NCP request 1) above regarding the re-activation of the SOMINKI liquidation process; and

3.Provide a 2nd written update to the NCP by 8 December, 2017 regarding any outcomes achieved as a result of the implementation of the request regarding the SOMINKI liquidation process.

The Canadian NCP also recommended that Banro endorse and implement both the OECD Guidelines and the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector.

The Canadian NCP committed to issue a follow up statement to the Final Statement in approximately May 2018 and stated that the NCP can also make recommendations pertaining to the provision of trade advocacy support services by the Government of Canada, should constructive engagement with the NCP by Banro falter.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Extractives / mining sector, Labour rights

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Canada
NCP address
NCP website http://www.ncp-pcn.gc.ca/
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

Company Information

Company responsible Banro Corporation
Company address
Company website
Company in violation
Country of operations Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
25 May 2017 National Contact Point Canada statement Final Statement issued by the Canadian NCP download pdf (315Kb)  
26 February 2016 Ex mining workers of SOMINKI file On 26 February 2016, the Canadian NCP received a complaint from a group of former employees alleging that Banro Corporation, a Canadian multinational enterprise, had breached the OECD Guidelines in its mining operations in Democratic Republic of Congo. The workers allege that the company should provide severance packages, along with other social benefits to the former employees of a subsidiary company that is now in liquidation. The NCP has been discussing the case with both parties and reviewing the issues as it prepares its Initial Assessment.  

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