Tim Newman, Campaigns Director, International Labor Rights Forum
Nestlé is infamous for abusing worker rights around the world. ILRF has listed Nestlé for two years in a row on our "Working for Scrooge" report that highlights the worst companies in the world for union organizing. Nestlé is one of the largest multinational corporations in the world and the company's workers face an uphill battle in standing up for a voice at work.
Fortunately, there is some goods news for Nestlé workers. Earlier this month, the union at Nestlé Pantnagar in India signed a collective agreement on wages and benefits with the company. The workers at the factory waged a strong campaign even in the face of intimidation from the company which included the dismissal of key union organizers. This latest success for workers follows on a big victory in December for Nestlé workers when unions at three other Nestlé facilities in India signed similar agreements. The agreements also include wage information that had previously been classified as "secret" by company management.
Nestlé workers in India faced a number of intimidation tactics when they tried to form unions. For example, the company got a court injunction permanently banning union activity around factories. Workers held weekly demonstrations, organized rallies at Nestlé headquarters, refused to work overtime and took many other actions. International solidarity also helped support the workers' campaign.
This exciting step forward is a bright spot in Nestlé's global labor relations. I hope that Nestlé workers in India are able to multiply their victories as they move forward and that other Nestlé workers globally will be inspired by this success. This recent news also follows some other exciting victories for workers which you can read more about here.