Trade union tenacity and fear of having to open the books for an economic expertise broke Nestlé’s resistance to a wage increase at the Nescafé factory in Orbe.
“Negotiations” began in November 2011 with Nestlé offering nothing – not even the CBA-mandated cost-of-living increase. The staff committee and their union, UNIA, sought mediation, and in June, an evaluation of the economic situation of the company was commissioned.
But in an about-face, Nestlé reopened negotiations in July and finally agreed to an increase of 75 Swiss francs for all workers covered by the CBA.
This amount represents a 2% raise for the lowest salaries, and a 1.5% raise in the average salary earned by production workers.
This is a major achievement for collective bargaining rooted in solidarity in a company keen on replacing collective increases with performance-based pay rises. The union at Orbe factory has successfully defended their CBA, the first line of defense against this attack.