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HLEU Unilever Mumbai - the struggle goes on!

Posted to the IUF website 18-Jan-2007

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As people all around the world returned to their jobs the members of the HLEU continued their struggle against the illegal closure of the Unilever factory in Mumbai.

The IUF has previously reported on this dispute and Unilever's contempt for the law and is currently trying to set up a tripartite meeting in the UK involving the IUF, HLEU and Unilever.

The IUF is bringing international pressure to bear and is pushing for a meeting at the OECD involving the IUF, HLEU and Unilever. However the HLEU is not simply waiting for things to happen. They continue to campaign vigorously. During January they plan to visit factories all over India and initiate a widespread poster campaign.They send their thanks to all trade unionists who have expressed solidarity and provided support and urge us all to keep the very effective email campaign going.

Meanwhile their families have joined in the struggle.

In November 150 family members of the workers formed a co-operative society and gave it the glorious name of "Stree Shakti Mahila sahakhari Sanstha" (Womens Power Co-operative society).

They have already applied for registration and plan to pack wholesale grain into plastic bags for sale to retailers in their local areas.

Very shortly they will be distributing grain at a cheap price to all union members and their families.

The women haven't missed a trick when it comes to opportunities to raise funds and recently set up a food stall at a week long festival and exhibition 40 km outside Mumbai and sold Pav and Samosa to the festival goers.

The women of the HLEU food stall versus one of the largest food producers in the world! This is a classic David v Goliath battle.

However as we all know collective action and support can shift the odds in favour of these determined workers and the enterprising families standing behind them.

The least we can do is to keep those emails coming! Click here to send a message. Copies will automatically be forwarded to the union and to the IUF.