Nestlé-FRONERI announces plant closure in Italy; Unions announce a fight
On 27 September, only days short of the 1st anniversary of the creation of the FRONERI ice cream joint venture by Nestlé and the French private equity firm PAI Partners, workers at the former Nestlé factory in Parma were informed that the company intends to close the factory and dismiss 180 workers.
Throughout the summer rumours of a closure and mass redundancies were circulating. In the wake of work stoppages and protest action, management signed a protocol with the union committee, asserting that the rumours were baseless and that disciplinary action would be taken against anyone who spread them. Furthermore, a timetable of monthly meetings was set up - through March 2018.
The trade union response to the announcement was swift and severe. The 3 IUF-affiliated unions, FAI-CISL, FLAI-CGIL and UILA-UIL issued a joint statement condemning the company's "blatantly dishonest and deceptive behavior" and "contempt for industrial relations practices".
An industrial dispute has been declared with a ban on overtime and flexibility. The workers and their unions are demanding the withdrawal of the collective dismissal procedure and closure plans.