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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

IUF Challenges Job Destruction at Nestl�, Unilever on World Day for Decent Work

Posted to the IUF website 06-Oct-2008

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The IUF is targeting the systematic, programmed destruction of permanent work at two major food TNCs - Nestl� (the world's largest food company) and Unilever (number 3) - as unions worldwide highlight the menacing spread of precarious work on October 7 - World Day for Decent Work.

Casual, insecure, subcontracted jobs are not an accidental byproduct of the constant redefinition of "core" business, or the search for "flexibility". The destruction of permanent work has become a major pillar of corporate human resources strategy, implemented to fund record dividends and share buybacks in the name of "shareholder value". Alongside their brands, the companies are manufacturing insecurity. Precarious jobs are corporate policy for shrinking and ultimately extinguishing the number of workers who retain a direct employment relationship with the corporations whose products they manufacture - and with whom they can negotiate their terms and conditions of employment. Precarious work is union busting.

Nestl� and Unilever have been brutally and systematically eliminating permanent work while touting the virtues of job creation and "corporate social responsibility." Behind their famous "billion dollar brands" the former Nestl� or Unilever worker has been increasingly replaced by an abusive system of outsourcing, casualization, "temporary" hiring and "co-packing" which is steadily eliminating the use of permanent employment contracts.

To highlight the leading role of these two food giants in destroying decent work the IUF is launching two new websites.

Nestlewatch and Unileverwatch are interactive sites with translation toolbars for multi-language use. We've launched them to challenge these companies' systematic cultivation of insecure, precarious work, to put a corporate face on the process of job destruction, and to assist in fighting back.