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Unilever Day of Action : Unions Demonstrate Global Solidarity in Opposition to Massive Job Cuts

Posted to the IUF website 06-Dec-2007

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French trade unionists united against job cuts at Unilever

Trade unionists around the world took action on December 4 to highlight their determination to resist Unilever's ongoing destruction of jobs.

Trade unionists from 17 countries gathered in Rotterdam in the Netherlands to show their anger and demand a change of direction at the Anglo-Dutch company, where massive layoffs have served to fund share buybacks and increased dividends for shareholders. A mass rally was held in Mumbai (India) organised by the All India Council of Unilever Unions, to show the Indian unions' solidarity with Unilever workers worldwide and to highlight Unilever India's attacks on jobs and trade union rights at numerous sites. Union shop stewards at Unilever South Africa met to highlight the threat to employment and working conditions, and support messages for the European unions came from as far away as North America and Australia.

The Rotterdam activities included a mass meeting followed by a march to Unilever headquarters. At the mass meeting, numerous trade unionists supported the call for a collective fight against Unilever management, holding up the 3 weeks of rolling strikes in October in the Netherlands and the positive outcome as an example.

In Mumbai, 150 union members participated in a mass rally in the busiest area of the city. Handbills in Hindi were distributed to the public and an IUF press release was circulated to journalists on hand and later to the Mumbai offices of the major newspapers and electronic media. The Mumbai protest featured a banner sent over by the Unilever unions in Pakistan in a sign of mutual solidarity.

In South Africa, union members at two major facilities (Boksburg and Durban) held an information picket during lunch hour on December 5.

IUF-affiliated Unilever workers in Mumbai proudly displaying the banner sent by the IUF's Lever Brothers Employees Federation of Pakistan

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