Workers at Nestlé Tunisia have gone on strike on 8 and 9 October 2012 in protest against management refusal to open discussions on their long-standing demands.
Following an action last July (wearing red armbands), the union – affiliated to the FGAT-UGTT – sent a letter to the general manager informing him of the suspension of the action and calling for talks. Rather than reply, management issued a press release on 20 July referring to recent “social unrest” at Nestlé Tunisia, a company which “has always favoured dialogue with its employees”.
In response to this refusal to engage in bona fide talks, the workers decided to strike to highlight their demands:
1. Involve the union in the calculation and distribution of the profit sharing payout.
2. Align wages to those paid by comparable companies on the Tunisian market.*
3. Permanent contracts for temporary staff, some of whom have been working for Nestlé for over ten years.
*Despite Nestlé’s stated objective of paying between the 50th (median) and 75th percentile of the relevant local market, the salaries of the majority of staff in Tunisia are situated at 40% on average below the median. In some cases workers are paid at 60% below the market median.