Bulletin archive - Bulletin Issue7 July?September 2002
Sunday, 07 September 2008 17:51
We repudiate the repression and persecution unleashed by the transnational corporation NESTLÉ in Colombia against its workers and the National Union of Food Industry Workers SINALTRAINAL in the Cicolac factory, in Valledupar, Cesar department and in its milk reception plants.
NESTLÉ de Colombia S.A. has not only denied any solution to the demands presented by SINALTRAINAL on 28th January 2002, but on the contrary it show an intent to get rid of the collective agreement, leaving 400 workers and their families without rights that they have acquired over 50 years of permanent struggle. In the last 15 years, 7 trade union leaders working for NESTLÉ have been assassinated.

NESTLÉ has responded to the workers fighting for their welfare and lives with violence and terror. The corporation has tried to leave 96 provisional workers and their families without daily sustenance, while breaking the contracts of another 58 workers so that there jobs can be sub-contacted as cheap labour through agencies - casualisation.

This arbitrary approach by NESTLÉ attacks the human rights of the workers and their right of association, and is a form of terror to destabilise their trade union organisation, strike against labour stability and respond aggressively to the demands presented by the trade union. NESTLÉ's intention is to snatch away our acquired rights and to destroy the trade union.

But NESTLÉ is not only attacking the workers; it is also attacking the communities, against food security, against regional development and against the national economy. NESTLÉ is contributing to the impoverishment of our people and to the Colombian conflict.

NESTLÉ is in large measure responsible for the difficult situation being experienced by the coffee and milk sectors in Colombia. In 2001 it imported 25,125 tonnes of powdered milk - equivalent to 200 million litres of fresh milk- to use as a raw material. NESTLÉ moreover is one of the beneficiaries of the elimination of the World Coffee Agreement which has led to the lowering of wholesale prices to just US 64 cents (per kilo). In the first quarter of 2002 powdered milk imports produced losses in the domestic milk sector 63,000 millions of pesos (£18 million). This policy has generated misery for small and medium dairy farmers and for peasants in the coffee growing zone.

For SINALTRAINAL this conflict with NESTLÉ represents the struggle for the defence of our rights, for national food sovereignty for the welfare of the population and for peace with social justice. That is why we demand that the Colombian state immediately stops the importation of milk supplies and food products.

NESTLÉ 's production is located on Colombia's northern coast, a zone of great social confrontation. The corporation maintains that the union and the workers are responsible for the conflict, causing management to reduce purchases of fresh milk (the real cause was the powdered milk imports). Several union leaders are being threatened by the paramilitaries in the area. We make NESTLÉ responsible for the life and security of our comrades.

Globalisation has deepened the degree of misery of our communities and has placed our natural resources and our working abilities of our people at the disposal of the transnationals. Globalisation of the struggle against the transnationals would be an act of sovereignty, of justice, of welfare and of life. We ask you to help us realise these noble

Please send messages of protest and solidarity to:

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Fax. 41-21-9211885; 41-21- 9211720; 41-22-9216488; 41-22-9244800
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Ministro de Trabajo - Colombia
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Presidente Dirección Nacional