Workers in Supply Chains Unite!

A Trade Union Perspective of the Implementation of the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act in the African Automotive Sector

Photo by Chad Kirchoff via Unsplash.

German automotive manufacturers are taking an increasing interest in the African conti­nent and are inves­ting in local produc­tion. As a result, a new dyna­mic is develo­ping in the automotive supply chains for compo­nents and servi­ces, as well as for cars “made in Africa”. The German Supply Chain Due Dili­gence Act has been in force for the past six months. The law holds compa­nies above a certain size accoun­table for compli­ance with regard to basic workers’ and human rights along the supply chain. The respec­tive companies will in due course be requi­red to submit compli­ance reports on their due dili­gence obliga­tions and complaint mecha­nisms. These reports will prompt ques­tions about the challen­ges that workers have iden­tified along supply chains in Africa. Ultimately, the Act is inten­ded to strengthen the rights of workers and affected commu­nities at local level.

The study"The German Due Diligence Act and the Automo­tive Supply Chain in Africa: An Oppor­tunity for Trade Union Solida­rity?" looks at working conditi­ons in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana and analy­ses what options the law provides for trade unions to protect workers’ rights. The study demon­strates the need for the law as, according to workers on the ground, problems with regard to labour stan­dards along the German auto­motive supply chain were iden­tified before the law came into force. Hence, the close involve­ment of trade unions and works coun­cils is central, both in Germany and in the respec­tive countries. The virtual launch of the study dis­cusses the following ques­tions: What is required for a compre­hensive implemen­tation of due diligence obliga­tions? What are the relevant successes and challenges, also with regard to the planned EU directive on the topic? How should trade unions be involved for an effective implemen­tation of the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act?

The stakeholder panel on implementation of due diligence obligations takes place at 4.00pm with the following participants:

  • Bärbel Kofler, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Rose Omamo, General Secretary, AmalgamatedUnion of Kenya Metal Workers, Vice President ofIndustriALL Global Union
  • Stephanie Albrecht-Suliak, company representative of the department of politics and international affairs of IGBCE
  • Moderation:Hendrik Simon, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt;co-coordinator of the study


When: June 22nd 2023, 3-5.00pm

Where: online via Zoom

To participate online please register under by june 20th.

For more information visit the event's facebook page.