With Johannes Specht

NGG reaches important agreement in the confectionery industry

In late June, Germany’s Federation of Food Workers (Food-Genuss-Gaststätten, or NGG), an IUF affiliate, secured a major victory for workers in the confectionery industry.

Amalia Antúnez

14 | 07 | 2023

Photo: NGG

After a strong union campaign that included 62 strikes across the sector’s various companies, NGG struck a positive agreement for its workers.

The collective bargaining agreement benefits 60,000 workers from both production and administration,” NGG leader Johannes Specht told La Rel.

This sector includes companies that produce chocolate bars (Snickers, Mars, Oreo, Milka, KitKat), cookies, chewing gum, potato chips, and candy. Among them are transnational corporations such as Ferrero, Unilever, Lindt, Nestlé, and Barry Callebaut.

“We staged 62 strikes in a little over two weeks. We were very concentrated. Many of these measures were a first in the history of some of the plants. In several companies stoppages ran for 16 to 24 hours, with work completely paralyzed during that time,” Specht explained.

The union leader highlighted that after this negotiation campaign, more than 2,000 new members joined NGG. The same thing happened in 2021, when NGG staged a general strike in the meatpacking sector that lasted three months and resulted in wage increases for 40,000 workers, leading to 1,400 new members.

“In the third round of negotiations, after the wave of work stoppages, we secured the collective bargaining agreement that establishes a raise of 350 euros per month for the lowest wages, which is equivalent to an increase of 12 to 16 percent,” he explained.

For intermediate wages, the raise was 300 euros and for apprentices it was 175 euros per month.

Every worker will receive an additional 1,000 euros to be paid in two 500-euro installments. Moreover, apprentices will also receive an additional 750 euros, to be paid in two installments,Specht added.

The collective bargaining agreement will be in force for 14 months.