The IUF Food Processing Division was created in 2017 with adoption of the Division from IUF's highest governing body – the IUF Congress. The IUF Food Processing Division seeks to address the issues workers face in this sector that cut across companies operating in the food processing industry: health and safety, financial short-termism and its impacts, declining or stagnant wages, migrant worker rights, etc. The Division further promotes education and mobilization of current membership as well as organizing of workers who are not already union members to increase union membership and power within this industrial sector. The Division will also focus directly on major companies in the food processing sector to strengthen union coordination internationally in those companies and consolidate or secure recognition of IUF affiliates.
Please contact the IUF Secretariat for further information.
Food processing News
Financial short-termism: the impact on workers and the fight back 29-10-2019
Financial short-termism, a focus on quick financial returns at the expense of long-term interests, has fundamentally changed the environment in which workers organize, negotiate and struggle. There are ways to fight back. Learn more here.
Graphic: The Economist
Help stop child labour at Chupa Chups maker Perfetti van Melle 27-09-2019
Child labourers come and go at Perfetti van Melle's (PvM) factory in Gazipur, Bangladesh. They disappear during inspections, only to reappear once the inspections have ended. PvM continues to contract with the company supplying these children - Rahat Corporation.
Click here to learn more about how you can help stop child labour at PvM in Bangladesh.
Union elections at Dr. Oetker Poland conducted in public square 26-09-2019
Dr. Oetker prevented IUF-affiliated Solidarnosc from running an election for union chairperson in the factory canteen. The company claimed the election would disrupt work.
Solidarnosc pitched a tent with their logo in a public square in front of the factory to run the ballot.[read more]
NGG wins important gains in new agreement at Barry Callebaut 13-09-2019
Following on a series of warning strikes, Barry Callebaut workers in Hamburg now have a new collective bargaining agreement which aligns pay with the industry-wide agreement for the Northern Germany confectionery industry.[read more]
#TheCargill14 take their fight for reinstatement to Cargill’s Turkish head office 30-08-2019
To mark 500 days of their ongoing struggle, the Cargill 14 gathered with other trade unionists and supporters in front of Cargill's Turkish headquarters in Istanbul on August 30.[read more]
NGG Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) production workers win substantial wage increases following warning strikes 19-08-2019
NGG members from Jacobs Douwe Egberts' Bremen factory have won an average 3% yearly wage increase following warning strikes on August 7. This is a substantial increase from the 1.4% wage increase originally proposed by JDE. NGG also negotiated economic improvements for apprentices at JDE Bremen as part of the new 2 year collective bargaining agreement with JDE.[read more]
Court confirms #TheCargill14 were fired for forming a union 11-07-2019
A local Turkish court determined on July 10, 2019 that workers at Cargill's Bursa-Orhangazi factory were dismissed in April 2018 solely as a consequence of their union activity. The expert report, which informed the court's decision, confirmed that the company's justifications for dismissal were groundless. The workers were fired because they had joined Tekgida-Is.[read more]
Unions need to push for a new direction at Kraft Heinz 29-05-2019
Until recently, Kraft Heinz set the pace for finance, management and deal-making in food processing and the broader consumer goods sector. The 30% + operating margins it claimed were the benchmark against which corporate performance was measured. Other companies followed suit.[read more]
A focus on workers' rights at the Mondelez shareholders' meeting 22-05-2019
Over 200 trade unionists from IUF affiliates BCTGM and UFCW, along with other labour and community leaders, protested outside of the Mondelez shareholders' meeting on May 15, 2019 delivering a clear message that people must come before profits.[read more]
Union members assaulted at Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh after calling for an end to child labour 23-04-2019
After a long fight for legal collective bargaining status at global confectioner Perfetti Van Melle's Bangladesh factory, PVM Union leaders and members have been the target of threats and physical assault. Central to this fight against abusive labour practices was the PVM Union's call for an end to the exploitation of child labour supplied by Perfetti Van Melle's third party labour and services provider Rahat Corporation.
The struggle for rights at Perfetti Van Melle continues. CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE to Perfetti Van Melle now![read more]
Cargill unions around the world call for an end to rights abuses at Cargill Turkey 18-03-2019
Twenty-four unions representing Cargill workers in 15 countries, from Australia to the US, Indonesia to Russia and across Europe, have together publicly called on the company to stop violating rights in Turkey, where workers were fired at a Cargill facility in Bursa-Orhangazi nearly one year ago solely as a consequence of organizing to form a union - an internationally recognized human right.
Italy: unions win single national agreement at Mondelez 23-01-2019
About 1,000 workers in Italy now have a new collective bargaining agreement with Mondelez following lengthy negotiations between Italian IUF affiliates and the company.[read more]
General Mills USA: Iowa workers vote to join RWDSU 21-01-2019
Over 500 production, maintenance and sanitation workers at the General Mills facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa will now be represented by the IUF-affiliated RWDSU/UFCW following elections on January 9 in which a majority voted for union representation.
'Behaviour-based safety' programs undermine safe workplaces and worker solidarity 16-01-2019
A new paper from the IUF Food Processing Division explains how and why ‘Behaviour-based safety’ programs are designed to shift responsibility for maintaining a safe workplace from employers onto workers, how they undermine solidarity and organization based on collective bargaining and how unions can fight back against them.[read more]
New agreement follows strikes at JDE Netherlands 12-12-2018
Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) workers in the Netherlands and their union FNV have a new collective bargaining agreement following two effective 24-hour strikes in Joure and Utrecht on November 19 and November 22. [read more]
Global confectioner Perfetti Van Melle is attacking rights in Bangladesh 27-11-2018
UPDATE - On January 14, 2019, the Perfetti Van Melle BD Pvt. Ltd. Employees' Union finally secured legal registration despite massive management interference. The company must now recognize the union and negotiate a first collective agreement.
Dutch-based confectioner Perfetti Van Melle, makers of Mentos, Chupa Chups and Alpenliebe among other global brands, doesn't believe workers in Bangladesh have the right to form a union, and is aggressively attacking workers attempting to form one. CLICK HERE to send a message to the company![read more]
FNV and NGG members strike Jacobs Douwe Egberts in the Netherlands and in Germany 23-11-2018
Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) workers in Utrecht, Netherlands and in 7 German locations took strike action on November 22. In Utrecht, workers successfully shut down production at JDE for 24 hours, the duration of the strike. NGG traveled with a group of striking German JDE workers to Utrecht to join some 200 FNV JDE strikers in a show of solidarity.
IUF affiliates show solidarity and support for JDE workers in Germany 13-11-2018
Earlier this year, Jacob Douwe Egberts (JDE) in Bremen, Germany - the birthplace of the business more than 120 years ago - turned its back on the workers who've built the business and unilaterally terminated its agreement with their union NGG.[read more]
Key drivers in the food processing industry in the next five years 06-11-2018
See here for a document
on key drivers in the food processing
industry in the next five years developed by the IUF Food Processing Division and its affiliates.
explores current and future trends in the food processing sector affecting IUF
membership, investigates the impact of these trends and poses solutions to
mitigate these impacts.
The Cargill 14 - still strong, still fighting 05-11-2018
For more than 200 days now, 14 workers who were dismissed on April 17, 2018 while trying to organize a union at Cargill Turkey continue their militant protest.[read more]
Global agreement with Unilever on rights and recognition 01-11-2018
IUF General Secretary Sue Longley, IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Valter Sanches and Unilever CEO Paul Polman signed a joint memorandum on union rights and recognition with global consumer goods maker Unilever on October 31 at the regular bi-annual meetings with the company which have taken place since 2010.[read more]
Successful negotiations at Mondelez Malaysia 31-10-2018
Following a fight for the right to negotiate change involving protests
by members and intervention by the IUF to support the demand for good
faith negotiations, Malaysian IUF affiliate FIEU successfully negotiated
a satisfactory outcome concerning the employment impact of the Johor
Baru plant closure.[read more]
Attacks on worker rights continue at Mondelez Malaysia 18-10-2018
Malaysian IUF affiliate FIEU has now had four meetings with Mondelez in an effort to negotiate over the impacts of the announced Johor Baru plant closure. Local management however continues to act in bad faith.[read more]
Broad attack on worker rights at Mondelez Malaysia 29-09-2018
Mondelez management attempted to unilaterally announce the closure of the Johor Baru plant at the beginning of July 2018, but Malaysian IUF affiliate FIEU intervened to demand negotiations.[read more]
Job cuts, now a worker death at Mondelez (Cadbury) India 28-09-2018
Mondelez worker Milkhi Ram was killed on September 21 while operating a moulding machine in the company's Baddi, India plant. His death followed a wave of massive workforce reductions accompanied by a "voluntary separation scheme" initiated by Mondelez India management, which workers were pressured into accepting. [read more]
Italian unions to strike against job destruction at Jacob Douwe Egberts (JDE) 26-09-2018
IUF affiliates in JDE's Italian operations will be striking on September 28 to protest the elimination of 57 jobs with the announced closure of JDE's Andezeno, Italy facility. FLAI-CGIL, FAI-CISL and UILA-UIL have issued a joint call for JDE to enter into immediate negotiations and to reconsider the company's decision to transfer production and make 57 workers redundant.[read more]
Reinstate #TheCargill14 now! 18-09-2018
Defending decent jobs at Mondelez 10-09-2018
Trade union representatives from 18 unions, 13 countries, and 6 continents gathered in Brussels on September 5 and 6 to develop union action to protect their members' futures in Mondelez.
Reinstate the Cargill 14 now! 19-06-2018
Fourteen union activists were unfairly dismissed from their jobs on April 17, 2018 while organizing a union at Cargill-Turkey in Bursa-Orhangazi. These 14 dismissals follow those of seven other workers who were also unfairly dismissed in 2015.
Workers' rights on the agenda at Mondelez Shareholder Meeting 17-05-2018
IUF affiliate BCTGM and the IUF Secretariat put workers' rights on the agenda at Mondelez' shareholders meeting on May 16 in Lincolnshire, Illinois (USA).[read more]
Subsidizing Mondelez in Canada: the Ontario government's 22 million dollar cash gift 19-04-2018
Canada's Ontario government is rewarding Mondelez a cash gift of 22.6 million Canadian dollars for `skills development and capital investment' at its non-union East York (Ontario) facility- a factory which over the past 5 years has taken over production from two union sites which the company has closed.[read more]
Pennsylvania Mission Foods workers organize, fight and win a first collective bargaining agreement 17-04-2018
Workers at Mission Foods
in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania have voted to approve a 3-year collective bargaining agreement and officially join United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 1776 following union organizing efforts dating back to 2006.
Workers must prepare for new cost-saving drive as KHC struggles with rising interest rates 12-04-2018
The IUF has written extensively about the risks of the 3G model
, which flourished in the food processing sector when interest rates were near zero creating a situation where companies like Kraft Heinz could borrow virtually free money.[read more]
Conversion of casual to permanent work at Mondelez (Cadbury) Pakistan 18-02-2018
At its annual general meeting on February 16, the Mondelez (Cadbury) Progressive Employees Union celebrated the conversion of 94 long term casuals to permanent jobs. The casual workers were employed at the Cadbury plant for several years through corrupt labour hire agencies that exploited workers' insecurity and vulnerability.[read more]
Launch of first-ever independent federation of food workers in Indonesia 14-02-2018
On February 2 and 3, sixteen independent unions came together in Yogyakarta to form the first ever independent union federation of food workers in Indonesia, FSBMM, a historic step in building independent and democratic union power in the food and beverage sectors in Indonesia. [read more]
What happens when the shark runs out of water for the feeding frenzy? 13-02-2018
For many, Kraft Heinz/3G Capital's business model is old news - though
not for the thousands who have lost their jobs due to the company's
aggressive cost cutting. 3G loads up on debt to acquire a company,
wrings out all possible costs to boost profitability, and once this has
been completed, borrows again to fund a new acquisition and repeats the
cycle. [read more]
The fight to save quality jobs at Mondelez Dunedin, New Zealand 20-10-2017
The IUF-affiliated union E tu has worked tirelessly with community leaders to save quality jobs at Mondelez and is highly critical of the final decision by the company to move all production of Cadbury products at its Dunedin, New Zealand production plant to Australia. This decision also follows an IUF urgent action that many IUF affiliated members took part in to support their brothers and sisters from E tu in New Zealand.