On June 26 and 27, 2017, IUF affiliates from 11 countries gathered in Chicago to begin to develop a joint approach to organizing and bargaining in the food processing sector through a newly proposed IUF division. Pressure on workers is growing as food processors struggling with revenue growth seek greater profits through the financial engineering typical of private equity firms, aggressive cost cuts and permanent restructuring. Rising competitive pressures and increasing financialization place food processing workers in a position of heightened vulnerability. Permanent insecurity is exacerbated by accelerating automation.
In addition to IUF presentations on the state of the food processing industry and several of its largest companies, the North American UFCW presented their approach to using health and safety as an organizing tool and the BCTGM updated affiliates on its campaign to save quality jobs at Mondelez in the United States, which is part of a broader global effort.
The conference endorsed the creation of an IUF Food Processing Division to be proposed to the IUF 27th Congress. The division will aim to build an international anchor for the fight for safe, secure and well-paid jobs in the food processing industry. Contact [email protected] for more information.