Published: 28/02/2013

FNV Bondgenoten has embarked on a series of actions following a breakdown in negotiations to secure decent transfer conditions for Netherlands Unilever workers scheduled to be outsourced to the catering/services giant Sodexo.

Under the terms of a Unilever/Sodexo deal struck in 2012, all Unilever ‘facility management services’ employees in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, the Nordic countries, the UK, Ireland and Poland still directly employed by Unilever or already outsourced to a service provider will be transferred to Sodexo. These include cleaners, catering workers, security, receptionists etc.

Under EU legislation on employment transfers, some but not all employment conditions are guaranteed after the transfer. The transfer takes effect on May 1 – from which date former Unilever employees will be doing the same work for Unilever as Sodexo employees under vastly inferior conditions.

Unilever has rejected the union’s demands, and the union has started a series of rolling actions beginning today. The union is demanding safeguards and compensation for workers tossed on the outsourcing scraphead:

  • Compensation for pension losses – at Sodexo, workers will pay more and receive less
  • 5-year employment guarantee
  • 5-year continuation of the s structural wage increases in the Unilever CBA
  • Indexation of the personal allowances with which the wage difference between Unilever and Sodexo is compensated.
  • Maintenance of overtime allowances, shift work allowances and other allowances related to working times based on the Unilever CBA.
  • No split shifts
  • Maintenance of several disability insurances at the Unilever level.

February 28 action at Unilever Oss: Our pensions are gone when we go to Sodexo!

You can support their struggle by clicking here to send a message to FNV Bondgenoten – the messages will then be collected and delivered to Unilever. Or simply write your own message and send to FNV-Bondgenoten’s Marjolein Dubbelaar [email protected]

You can also support them by circulating this information, meeting with your members and expressing your concerns to local management as well as sending protest and solidarity messages to the union.