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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

Growing International Solidarity with Nestl� Russia Workers

Posted to the IUF website 07-May-2008

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On May Day 2008, the IUF-affiliated German Food Workers NGG showed their solidarity with the 6-month
struggle for the right to collectively bargain wages being waged by the Nestl� Perm Workers Union in Russia. In Berlin, NGG members taking part in the May Day activities marched with banners supporting the Russian Nestl� union's demands, and the union launched a company-wide national petition campaign in support of the Perm union.

In Perm, hundreds of Nestl� workers and their family members took part in the May Day union demonstration, highlighting their struggle for a living wage and trade union rights.

In Moscow (picture below), union members marched with banners in support of the Perm union's struggle, with unions in Krasnoyarsk and St. Petersburg also declaring their support.

Since Nestl� continues to refuse to acknowledge responsibility for the practices of the Perm management, insisting that collective bargaining is strictly a local issue for which it bears no responsibility (while refusing locally to engage in good faith bargaining!), the IUF took the fight to Switzerland. On May 5 in Bern, Nestl� Perm Workers Union chairperson Larisa Selivanova and Nurislan Kamilov, an electrician at the plant and member of the union committee, took part in a press conference jointly hosted by the IUF and the IUF-affiliated Unia. The event highlighted the significance of the Nestl� Russia struggle and the issues underlying the IUF's submission to the OECD National Point in the company's home country of Switzerland.

The following day, Unia participated in a demonstration at Nestl�'s Vevey, Switzerland headquarters, and the Russian unionists met with the local Unia section, with representatives of the Swiss national trade union center USS/SGB and with reporters, who gave widespread coverage to the conflict and to the Russian unionists' visit and support actions.