Nestle Timisoara employees to stage protest in Bucharest, threaten to go on hunger strike


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The Nestle Timisoara employees will stage a protest on Friday, in front of the company’s central offices in Bucharest, if they do not receive the requested compensatory packages, some of them threatening to go on hunger strike, a release issued on Wednesday by the Food Industry Trade Unions Federation reads,

“As discontent against the constant refusal from the company representatives to meet the demands of the trade union, regarding the compensatory packages, similar to the ones in other EU Member States, the trade union together with the federation will organize a protest in front of the central offices in Bucharest,” the release reads, informs.

The protest will take place during 10.00h-12.00h.

The trade unionists say that, if their demands are not met, some union members will stage extreme actions, such as going on hunger strike.

The actions started on March 12, when all employees wore a white armlet in protest, followed by daily protests in front of the factory, during 15.00h-17.00h, with employees chanting slogans against the company and complaining that the Romanian decision-makers are unable and disinterested in terms of decisions that destroy companies and jobs.

The organization claims to have the support of the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotels, Restaurants, Catering and Tobacco (IUF), an international organization to which FSIA – SINDALIMENTA is member.

“The demands of the Nestle employees were presented in Geneva, but it seems that the managers’ games and interests behind the negotiations are stronger. FSIA-SINDALIMENTA has requested IUF to adopt general measures to support the employees. Hence, in the situation of the final closing down of a company, irrespective of the country the factories are located, all employees should be granted equal social rights. Also, a similar suggestion, together with other important ones for real social protection, was to be discussed with the Minister of Labour and Social Protection. Unfortunately, his disinterest made the discussion impossible. We believe that this lack of interest can lead only to a higher labour force migration from Romania to other EU Member States,” the release reads.

The Swiss giant Nestle, one of the biggest players on the local consumer goods market, announced in early January that it will close down its only factory in Timisoara, western Romania, where it produces the Joe wafers (Romanian brand).

The brands produced in Timisoara will not disappear from the market, the production will be relocated to Hungary, company representatives said.

Nestlé Romania announced on January 10 its intention to start the closure of its production unit in Timişoara by the end of May 2019. The management informed the employees of the intention to close the factory and started the talks with the trade union and the employees to find the best solution for the 388 targeted people, informed at the time.

The Timisoara plant was acquired by Nestlé in 2000 and had an annual production of over 10,000 tons of sweets and coffee.

Nestle entered the Romanian market in 1995, currently having about 900 employees in Bucharest and Timisoara, the latter hosts the factory where products such as Joe wafers are manufactured. From Timisoara, Nestlé Romania exports 35% of production to Hungary, the Adriatic countries, Mediterranean countries and, since last year, to Ireland.

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