Published: 09/11/2011

At the November 8 meeting of the Nestlé European Works Council in Geneva, Switzerland, representatives of twenty Nestlé unions from across Europe collectively called on the company to immediately halt attacks on trade union rights in Indonesia and in Pakistan. The unions insisted that Nestlé reinstate the dismissed trade union members in Indonesia and ensure their livelihoods and halt all harassment of trade unionists in Pakistan.

The letter addressed to Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke and signed by all representatives, was handed by Nestlé EWC Co-Chair Peter Schmidt (NGG) to the head of Nestlé European management, Laurent Freixe, at the opening of the meeting. The letter states:

We, the undersigned, participants in the Nestlé European Works Council, meeting in Geneva on November 8, 2011, are deeply angered to learn that management at the Panjang factory has dismissed 53 members of the SBNIP at a moment when mediation was in principle taking place. We perceive this as a grave violation of trade union rights. We are also angered by ongoing actions by management at the Kabirwala factory in Pakistan to undermine the union and its president Mohammad Hussein Bhatti. Rather than negotiating in good faith over the employment status of the contract workers the union is defending, local management has engineered provocations and has again attempted to sideline the union president by suspending him.

We call on Nestlé to act swiftly to ensure that all dismissed SBNIP members are immediately and unconditionally reinstated and that local management returns to good faith negotiations for the long-delayed collective bargaining negotiation. Pakistan management must enter into good faith negotiations with the Kabirwala union and stop intimidating and dismissing union members and officers.

Our fellow trade unionists and colleagues at Nestlé are being regularly informed of developments in these two conflicts. Determined action on your part can help to resolve both of them.

We expect genuine and rapid progress towards this end.

Laurent Freixe accepted the letter (click here to see it) on behalf of the Nestlé Executive Board and promised to forward it to Mr. Bulcke.