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ZuiderAmstel wants corporate social responsibity

24 November 2006 – At the initiative of GroenLinks (Green Party), social norms will be made to apply to companies that work for the ZuiderAmstel district. The initiative was triggered by complaints about back wages among staff at the ISS cleaning company, which runs the Multifunctional Centre (MFC).

GroenLinks has introduced a motion asking the district to include corporate social responsibility norms in tenders. The norms should deal with employment and environmental issues. The district is prepared to set stricter criteria and proposes to elaborate this in a policy paper.

The motion was triggered by complaints about ISS staff at the MFC not being paid for months, says Marije Cornelissen (photo), who has introduced the motion. At the request of the opposition parties, the Accounting Office will soon start an investigation into the management of the MFC, at which schools and social welfare organisations are located.

At present, ZuiderAmstel has no instruments to deal with abuses at companies that work for the district. Including social criteria in tenders would change this. In extreme cases, it would then be possible to annul a contract.

Such criteria are already being applied to subsidies, Cornelissen said, but contracts with private companies are still a ‘blind spot’. Districts increasingly contract out tasks to private companies. The implementation of the new Social Support Act (WMO) will further promote contracting out.

The district has no direct authority over the construction of the new Zuidas location, but Cornelissen finds that it can advise the municipality to have social criteria apply here as well. News from Amsterdam recently reported that there is support among city council members for such an approach.

The GroenLinks motion was to be discussed by the district council next Tuesday. In view of the response from the district administration, the motion will probably not be put to a vote. “The objective of the motion has been achieved”, said Cornelissen.

ZuiderAmstel cannot block investigation
VVD: Social criteria for companies
Promised work placements not delivered


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