Any of our business? Human Rights and the UK private sector - Human Rights Joint Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by National Express

  National Express has recently become aware that during their fact finding trip to Washington D.C., several members of the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights (the "Committee") met with employees of NEC who were either members of, and/or were accompanied by representatives of, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("Teamsters"). It has been reported that these employees met with four members of the Committee and discussed "their stories of human and workers' rights abuses by National Express Corporation (NEC) in the United States and Canada."

  Whilst we remain unaware of the exact content of the discussion, we would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief overview of National Express's attitude towards the rights and wellbeing of its employees.

  National Express is committed to providing and maintaining a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. The Company is equally committed to respecting all rights of our employees both inherent and provided for under applicable law and regulations, including the right of employees to decide whether or not they wish to be represented by a labour union in their employment relationship with the Company.

  National Express has adopted policies to ensure full compliance with labour laws throughout all of our operations, both in the United Kingdom and the United States and Canada. Additionally, the Company has dedicated staff to ensure compliance with these policies across all our operations. To date, National Express has never been found to have been in material or widespread violation of any provision of the National Labour Relations Act (the United States' labour laws) or Canada's labour laws, nor any of the various employment Acts in the United Kingdom.

  Our employees are the most important part of our business and we are committed to treating them fairly and honestly, and to respect and recognize each as an individual. Our success as a Company is based on the skills and effort of our employees and therefore, we strive to do our best to provide an environment that develops and recognises their importance.

  National Express conducts business in accordance with the best practices of corporate governance and labour relations, and we continually review our policies and activities to ensure that we maintain these high standards. Responsibility lies at the heart of our business and in the continuous challenge of maintaining our status of employer of choice. We believe it is our responsibility to give open, honest and fact based information to our employees concerning all issues that may affect their employment so that they may make educated, informed, personal decisions.

  In an effort to monitor the quality of employee relations within our organisation, employees are regularly surveyed with regard to various matters. These survey results provide us with feedback that has resulted in a number of improvements such as increased communication between management and staff, an enhanced appraisal structure, better development of our employees' talent and increased visibility of management in operational environments. Within the United States and Canada, National Express Group's core questions for employee engagement and overall satisfaction levels have remained consistently very favourable compared with industry standards.

  Throughout the United States and Canada, the Company has numerous operations that are already subject to collective bargaining relationships with various labour organisations. At these operations, we have and will continue to respect the rights of our employees who have chosen a labour organisation to represent them and will deal with the union fairly, in good faith, and as guided by the National Labour Relations Act.

  In light of the communication issued by Teamsters, the Company is extremely keen to ensure that its position is well understood in relation to the rights of our employees. As such, National Express would welcome the opportunity to provide further information to the Committee, either written or oral.

26 June 2009

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