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PART II: Manufacturing Insecurity at Nestle - Food and Allied ...

PART II: Manufacturing Insecurity at Nestle - Food and Allied ...

PART II: Manufacturing Insecurity at Nestle - Food and Allied

16 PART II Manufacturing Insecurity at Nestlé In this section we will look at concrete examples of precarious employment based on the experience of Nestlé unions. These examples illustrate the ways casualization can start, how it spreads, evolves and expands, and what happens when unions fail to effectively resist the process. We also look at outsourcing as a management strategy for weakening unions’ ability to organize, mobilize and to bargain. In these situations, the steady dilution of union strength through outsourcing serves as a “softer” alternative to more aggressive forms of union-busting but delivers the same result: enhancing management control at the expense of the workers and their unions. New Acquisitions and Pre-emptive Outsourcing With the opening up of markets and the liberalization of foreign investment in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990’s, Nestlé moved in, bought up, outsourced and consolidated. One of its first acts when it acquired factories in Hungary in 1991, was to outsource the uniform services and the canteen. The staff of those departments continued working in the factory but under a new employer. This pattern has been followed in other Nestlé plants in the region. Before acquiring the Svitoch chocolate factory in Lviv (Ukraine) in 1998, Nestlé negotiated, as part of the investment agreement, the outsourcing of a number of departments and services which had up until then been managed in-house. Transport and maintenance were immediately outsourced, while the production, building services and clerical staff were taken on by Nestlé. As part of the consolidation of its investment, Nestlé is now “optimising” staffing levels by reducing the number of production workers on permanent contracts and transferring its seasonal IUF

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