With Blas de Mir Pidal

Nestlé Chile: unfair and anti-union

The president of the Number 2 Union of Nestlé Graneros denounces the difficulties workers are facing in the collective bargaining process, the obstacles placed by the company in the way of plant-level unions, and management’s failure to recognize labor organization.
Blas de Mir Pidal | Foto: Gerardo Iglesias | Rel UITA

-What is the situation at the Graneros factory?
-Basically, the company is acting unfairly in the negotiations for our collective bargaining agreement, which expired on June 30.

Our union presented its list of demands on May 13 and after eight meetings—which were held via electronic means due to the pandemic—the company’s bargaining committee refused to move forward with serious negotiations.

It simply proceeded to conduct an analysis of the situation to justify its meager proposal by blaming the country’s current social and health crisis.

-But the CEO of Nestlé Chile has said that the company is experiencing steady growth…
-That’s just one of the contradictions in these negotiations. Because both at the Graneros and the Los Ángeles factories, plant production has never stopped.

All the members of the Number 1 and 2 Unions in these localities have continued working as usual.

Also, with this attitude the company is going against practically all its corporate principles and violating not only Chilean laws but also international treaties ratified by the country, especially ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association and protection of the right to organize.

An unacceptable proposal

-Did Nestlé ever improve its initial offer at all?
-No. In fact, its offer is that we sign a collective bargaining agreement similar to the one it signed with the yellow unions, and for us that would be a complete step backwards and we’re not willing to compromise.

It cost us a great deal to be able to form a union of workers in Nestlé Graneros and we’re not going to give up our rights now.

The company’s offer is too far from reality and from everything it claims to support as a transnational corporation.

In the course of the negotiations the company has violated the rights of its workers and breached the social agreements to which it had committed.

-What measures did the union adopt as a response to this intransigent attitude?
-We filed the relevant complaints with the General Labor Board, the Latin American Federation of Nestlé Workers (Felatran), and the IUF to be forwarded to the parent company in Switzerland.

They need to know the situation that plant-level unions face in collective bargaining processes in Chile.