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Women ice cream workers at Unilever Russia win union recognition, direct employment

3 September 2012 News
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Women workers packing ice cream at Unilever's Inmarko factory in Omsk (Siberia) struck for 3 days in May demanding union recognition and a return to direct employment - and won.

Of 400 workers employed at the factory, some 250 employed directly by Unilever-were transferred to an agency in 2010-2011 while they continued to perform the same jobs on inferior terms and conditions.

The women struck from May 12-14, and on the third day of their strike formed a union which joined the IUF-affiliated union Novoprof. Strong mobilization on and off the site and support from the IUF, which raised their demands with Unilever corporate management within the framework of the IUF/Unilever engagement process,  led to an agreement resulting in permanent jobs for 127 members and an agreed timetable and criteria for transferring the remaining women to direct employment.