General strike at Unilever in the Netherlands

This is a video of Dutch trade union FNV Bondgenoten against plans of the Dutch government to make it easier for bosses to dismiss workers.

From Thomson Financial news:

Unilever strikes loom after company announces 3 factory closures, 474 job cuts

10.10.07, 3:14 AM ET

AMSTERDAM – Unilever NV is facing an increasing likelihood of labour action after the company announced yesterday that it will close three Dutch factories and shed 474 jobs, according to reports in the Dutch media.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, labour unions FNV Bondgenoten and CNV Voeding both issued ultimatums that expire this afternoon after recent negotiations towards a collective workers agreement stalled.

The unions demanded, among other things, guarantees that Unilever’s plans to reorganise its operations and downsize its workforce would not result in forced lay-offs.

FNV Bondgenoten said in a statement following the factory closures announcement that it will call for labour action if its demands are not met by 3.00 pm CET, and will discuss future steps with members on Thursday.

CNV Voeding said on its website that workers were already concerned about the impact of Unilever’s reorganisation and that with three factories closing ‘those fears have been confirmed’.

CNV’s ultimatum expires at 1.00 pm CET.

Those ultimatums have expired; and on 10 October, 22:00 Central European Time, a general strike began.

After their earlier strike, Royal Mail again on strike in Britain: here. And here; and here; and here.

And here.

2 thoughts on “General strike at Unilever in the Netherlands

  1. From England:


    07:21 – 10 October 2007

    Don’t give our jobs away. That was the defiant message union bosses and hundreds of members of staff delivered to bosses of chocolate giant Cadbury.

    Union chiefs organised a demonstration outside the Cadbury factory in Keynsham, near Bristol, yesterday in protest at the company’s decision to close the factory and transfer work to Poland, with the loss of 500 jobs.

    About 300 people, many wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan Cadbury Belongs in Keynsham, braved heavy rain as they gathered outside the gates of Keynsham’s Somerdale factory at lunchtime.

    Cadbury announced last Wednesday that 500 jobs would be lost when the site closes in 2010.

    The work will move to Poland and to Cadbury headquarters in Bournville, Birmingham.

    A further 200 jobs are expected to be lost at the Bournville plant as part of the restructuring.

    At the protest yesterday, Unite union officials told placard-waving protesters they had refused to accept the company’s decision, and would fight the proposed factory closure.

    Steve Preddy, regional industrial organiser for Unite, told the crowd: “There has been a loyal workforce here since 1919. The announcement by Cadbury last week is nothing short of a betrayal of the work force in Keynsham.

    “Unite will do everything possible to convince the Cadbury board of directors that they should reverse these appalling proposals.

    “Cadbury seeks to rip the heart out of this town, shut the factory and move the work to Poland. It makes absolutely no sense to do what they’re proposing.”

    Mr Preddy said Cadbury plans to allow chocolate products that are mostly consumed in the UK to be made abroad and then shipped back to Britain “bordered on complete farce”.

    “We’ve allowed migrant workers into this country, and rightly so,” he said.

    “But we need British manufacturing jobs to produce British products for British people.”

    Brian Revell, Unite’s national officer for food and agriculture, said: “We have got to make the Government see how important the manufacturing industry is for this country.

    “We won’t be able to eat chips from electronics companies – it’s manufacturing that feeds our people and it should be at the heart of this nation.

    “(Cadbury) is profitable. This is lowest common denominator economics when our jobs are taken abroad because labour is cheaper.

    “We’ve nothing against our Polish brothers and sisters – they didn’t ask for the work. But our message to Cadbury director is: ‘Don’t give our jobs away’.”

    Unite regional officer Joe Clarke, who represents staff at the Cadbury plant at Bournville warned that the loss of the Keynsham plant could hit the town, in the same way that the closure of the Longbridge car plant, near Birmingham, had in the Eighties.

    He said: “I worked at Longbridge for 15 years and saw the devastation that plant closure had for the community.

    “We’re not just talking about 500 jobs here at Somerdale. Every one of those workers has a husband or a wife and children. There are also cleaners and contract workers who come into this site who will also be affected.

    “It’s an integral part of the community and it has been for about 200 years.”

    Andy Nicholls, the union convenor at Somerdale, said: “Shop stewards from all the Cadbury sites met bosses (yesterday) morning.

    “We have taken the unanimous decision to resist and oppose the management decision to close Somerdale

    “The workforce feels totally betrayed by the decision to transfer 200 jobs to Poland.

    “We stood by the company throughout the Salmonella problem but now the loyalty of the workforce is not being valued by the company.”

    Unite said it plans to lobby MPs at the House of Commons next Wednesday about the prospective job cuts.


  2. Pingback: Unilever corporation demands Internet censorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.