The company launched an aggressive assault on the union by suspending the union president, Chan Pong Yin, indefinitely. In doing so the message from management is clear: Nestle wants to return to the 17-hour workdays, wage increases of one percent in 12 years, and a system of insecurity maintained by having a third of the workforce on revolving casual contracts.Boycott Nestle. There are better coffees and chocolates out there.
It was precisely these conditions that led to the strike in July 2008 that not only brought production to a standstill during peak season, but shocked the Hong Kong public by exposing such outrageous working conditions in the world's largest food manufacturing company. In the months following the strike the company has tried to repair its public image, while making a series of commitments to improve working conditions without actually implementing them.
The extreme hypocrisy of Nestle management was soon revealed when it followed up on the promise to grant permanent employment to casual workers (many of whom had worked there for 10 years) by firing them one by one before their contracts expired.
The same hypocrisy underpinned management’s response to union recognition - a fundamental trade union right that Nestle repeatedly claims it respects globally, but which management consistently violates.
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