October 08, 2006

Nestle threaten staff with job losses

Corporate giant Nestle threaten workers with job losses if they refuse to accept a 15% reduction in wages.

Nestle has threatened to move more production out of York if unions do not agree to a 15% reduction in wages for its remaining workforce, it is claimed.

Last month the firm said it was axing 645 jobs and moving some production to other factories in the UK and Europe.

The International Food Workers' Union said Nestle had breached guidelines by threatening further operation transfers to influence union negotiations.

Nestle said it had acted correctly and was committed to the factory's future.

International Food Workers' Union general secretary Ron Oswald claimed Nestle management told union representatives in July it would be seeking a 15% reduction in wages and benefits for all workers.

'Serious violation'

When it announced the York job cuts on 20 September, the company said it was withdrawing from existing agreements on terms and conditions and gave the unions 90 days to negotiate, he said.

"Union representatives were told that if they didn't comply, the future of chocolate production in the UK would be in jeopardy."

Nestle had previously announced 245 job cuts at the York factory in March this year.

Mr Oswald said the company had seriously violated guidelines laid down by the OECD, an international organisation which helps governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a globalised economy.

The guidelines state that during bona fide negotiations with representatives of employees, enterprises should "not threaten to transfer the whole or part of an operating unit from the country concerned in order to influence unfairly those negotiations".


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