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Strike at Nestl� Waters in Germany Ends in Success

Posted to the IUF website 30-May-2007

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Eight days of industrial action at Nestl� Water's Neuselters site, in the German state of Hessen, forced management to seek a settlement with the German food and allied workers union NGG. The plant's almost 100 workers went on strike May 15 click here for previous story in response to Nestl�'s attempt to undermine existing agreements and attack hard-won gains.

The settlement reached on May 22 received unanimous approval in balloting which ended on Thursday, May 24.

Nestl� Waters Germany has reversed its position and will adhere to the sector-wide framework agreement, which remains valid until the end of 2009. In addition, it will apply the wage increase obtained in state-level bargaining for mineral springs workers. On the issue of working time, the NGG, the Neuselters works council and management have agreed to work out an agreement together by August 31. The settlement also includes a "no-retaliation" clause, an important protection for the workers who participated in the strike, in the walk-outs which took place in January and April and in other forms of industrial action during the struggle.

Months of hard work and intense political discussions led to this successful outcome. The workers defended their rights and interests with discipline and consistency, robbing Nestl� of any chance to play workers off against each other. As the NGG reports, it was their unity and determination that brought the company to reason and compelled them to take a constructive approach and show willingness to compromise.

On behalf of the workers at Neuselters and the NGG, the IUF thanks all those who have shown their support by protesting to the company and sending solidarity messages.

"Those who won't fight today won't have a job tomorrow." "We have learned to fight!"