Shop stewards at Nestlé’s UK operations, frustrated by the lack of progress in resolving disputes involving major rights violations at Nestlé’s Indonesian and Pakistan operations, have stepped up pressure for Nestlé to move decisively to resolve these situations.
The Joint National Shop Stewards’ Committee, representing all UK Nestlé unions (GMB, Unite, USDAW), at their March 8 meeting sent a joint message to Nestlé’s UK country and international management. Condemning the decision to dismiss 53 SBNIP members after their strike was over and an agreement was signed, the stewards say “Our members believe that when a conflict is over, and an agreement is signed, it is over. They are now asking themselves if it is Nestlé policy to continue a conflict after it is formally resolved, and whether this could happen to them as well.”
Turning to Pakistan, and Nestlé’s serial violations of court orders, mass dismissals of contract workers and the use of the court system to criminalize their struggle for employment rights, the stewards ask: “Will Nestlé employees here be treated the same way if they attempt to assert their rights?”
Their letter reminds Nestlé that the company’s actions in these two conflicts are “generating enormous concern with the wider trade union movement in the UK, with some branches demanding that Nestle goods be boycotted. The Nestle Trade Unions have so far successfully argued against these branch motions arguing 7000 people work for Nestle in the UK.”
They insist that the company act swiftly to resolve both conflicts.
In the photo below, the Nestlé stewards stand together with locked-out workers from packaging plant MMP. Nestlé is MMP’s second-biggest customer.