On January 22, 2020, Danone announced the closure of the Rosenheim dairy plant at the end of July 2021, and its intention to discuss the closure with the plant works council. The IUF-affiliated German Food and Allied Workers Union (NGG) that represents the Rosenheim workers organized a demonstration at the Rosenheim factory to protest the closure and the lack of any detailed justification from Danone. Under the banner “People before Profit”, NGG, and its members at Danone Rosenheim have committed to fight for every job. Please find the video of this demonstration in German here.
Please find a brief summary of video content in English below:
“Where are your values? People before profit, those are the words used and projected on the wall on the Danone building by the workers demonstrating at the Rosenheim factory.
The objective of the demonstration is to show to Danone that the workers are not giving up without a fight and care about the plant.
The closure had been planned some years earlier. The plant had been neglected and some of the production had already been transferred elsewhere. Production transfers and an excessive demand for profit have led to the current situation.
Workers are not only disappointed by Danone but also by local politicians, including the mayor who has failed to meet with the workers though he did meet with Danone management.
In the factory workers are deeply concerned that it will be very hard to find a similar job in the area. Danone has announced that the factory will close in July 2021. 170 workers will be affected.”
The only reason given in a brief mention in the public announcement to company employees was the decline in capacity utilization over the last few years.
The 1997 IUF-Danone agreement on employment and restructuring stipulates that consultations with unions representing their employees must be accompanied by documents explaining the decision and giving the objectives and reasons for this decision.
The agreement further states clearly that any process “should enable union organizations or otherwise workers representatives to present alternative proposals to the management’s plan”. Despite Danone corporate management’s recent assurances that the agreement would be followed to the letter in any restructuring exercise or closure local management in Germany has failed to respect at least these requirements that are clearly spelt out in the 1997 agreement.