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AES Sonel employee vs AES corporation

Case overview

Date filed 27 August 2011
Current status Rejected
Issue AES employment practices & racial discrimination in Cameroon
Summary of the case AES Sonel employee Edouard Teumagnie alleged he suffered racial discrimination between July 2001 and August 2002. Mr Teumagnie was employed by Sonel, Cameroons national utility company, when US-based AES took over the company. According to the complaint, AES replaced number of Cameroonian management staff with expatriate staff that received salaries 25 times higher than local staff members. The complainant alleges this wage difference was a result of racial discrimination.
Developments/Outcome The complaint was originally filed at the UK NCP, but was quickly transferred to the US NCP because AES Sonels parent company, the AES Corporation, is based in the US.

During initial assessment phase the US NCP required the complainant to provide English language translations for several French supporting documents. The complainant submitted the translations in January 2012 along with additional citations of alleged breaches of the General Policies and Disclosure chapters.

The US NCP engaged the US embassy in Cameroon to conduct local interviews and confirm certain factual circumstances. Following a phone call between the NCP and AES, the company submitted its formal response in June 2012 rejecting the allegations and explaining that the salary differences are based on standard company procedures.

More than one year after filing, the US NCP completed its initial assessment and decided to reject the case. The NCP maintains that the complainant provided insufficient substantiation for a possible race-related basis for the salary differences. Moreover, the NCP is of the opinion that differentiated wage scale policies for expatriate and local employees are common practice among MNEs and are not inconsistent with the Guidelines. The NCP did not address the alleged breaches of the General Policies and Disclosure chapters. On-going parallel proceedings in Cameroon were not a factor in the NCPs decision to reject the complaint.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Labour rights, Parallel (legal) proceedings, Disclosure of information, Multiple NCPs

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United States of America
NCP address 2201 C St. NW 20520 Washington, DC, United States
NCP website http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/oia/usncp/index.htm
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible AES
Company address
Onbekend
Netherlands
Company website
Company in violation AES
Country of operations Cameroon
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
1 January 2012 National Contact Point United States of America letter During initial assessment phase the US NCP required the complainant to provide English language translations for several French supporting documents. The complainant submitted the translations in January 2012 along with additional citations of alleged breaches of the General Policies and Disclosure chapters.  
27 August 2011 Edouard Teumagnie file On 27 August 2011 Edouard Teumagnie sends complaint to UK NCP. UK NCP transferred to the US NCP because AES Sonels parent company, the AES Corporation, is based in the US.  
National Contact Point United States of America reject download pdf (50Kb)  

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