Published: 17/09/2009

The IUF and the Swiss union UNIA organised a joint press conference in the Swiss capital of Bern on 10 July to launch the “Stop Nespressure” campaign in Switzerland and call on Nestlé to Stop the Nespressure and respect fundamental trade union rights!

Based on concrete examples of past and present conflicts, the IUF described how Nestlé systematically violates rights wherever it can, rights which it claims to respect in public statements and glossy publications. As part of the Stop Nespressure campaign, a dedicated website reveals the reality behind the image-enhancement under the headings NestLies and CSI: Corporate Social Irresponsibility.

Natalie Imboden, food sector secretary at UNIA, underlined the importance for UNIA, as member of the IUF and industrial counterpart of Nestlé in Switzerland, that Nestlé ensures that trade union rights are respected world-wide. She demanded that Nestlé play an active role in resolving the current conflicts in Indonesia, and in India, Korea and Hong Kong, and that it supports rather than hinders the exercise of trade union rights.

André Daguet, member of the Swiss parliament for the Socialist Party and former member of UNIA’s Executive Board, in speaking about the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, pointed out that Nestlé took first place for the number of complaints filed against a multinational – 6 complaints, 5 of which have been filed by the IUF on behalf of its affiliates. He expressed the hope that Switzerland, as home to the corporate headquarters of a number of multinationals, would contribute to the development of the Guidelines into binding standards.

The event received good media attention in Switzerland.  Note that it contains two inaccuracies: the conflicts involve Nescafé (not Nespresso factories) in Asia and the share buybacks amounted to 50% of what Nestlé paid in wages (not 50% more than what Nestlé paid in wages).

Read the IUF press release.