archivos de los protestos globales

The Transnational Nestle continues the Repression

In the previous alert we informed you about the damages that Nestle has been causing to the small and medium dairy farmers, and to the Colombian communities, with the massive imporatation of powdered milk - especially from Europe and some countries in Latin America. We also denounced the violation of the human rights of the workers, and the intention to steal away the collective agreement from the workers of CICOLAC LTDA and fire a large number of the workers.

In the past few days the situation has gotten worse. Nestle has been ignoring, in a violent manner, the clauses of the collective agreement that it wasn't able to get rid of during the negotiations. It has eliminated positions and expanded contracts for out-sourcing, and temporary agencies have been coming in to fill permanent positions. It has handed over the five milk receiving plants to third parties (large dairy farmers - lending them money to expand the receiving and refrigeration plants); and has done the same with sales districts. It has sped-up the dismanteling of the dairy department in the plant in Bugalagrade, which will leave 150 workers without employment. It has trasferred union leaders who had legal guarantees, impeding their union work. It has also ignored various articles of the collective agreement and the law. These actions have worsed the labor conflict because Nestle has not waited for the Arbitration Tribunal to provide a solution to the conflict. Instead, it has carried out arbitrary policies that tend to get rid of articles that should be studied by the Tribunal. This attitude has also worsened the situation of security and life for the leaders of Sinaltrainal, who are continuing to be threatened by the paramilitaries of the region where Nestle buys fresh milk.

In the first quarter Nestle imported, just from Uruguay and Argentina, 4,886 tons of powdered milk - the equivalent of 37,622,200 liters of fresh milk that could have been bought from the national dairy sector. This is worsening the social and economic situation of the medium and small dairy farmers. During 2001, the company stopped buying 116 million liters of fresh milk because it imported powdered milk, especially from Europe. In the June 6, 2002 edition of the newspaper, El Mundo, of Medellin, Mr. Juan C. Uribe Posada, in his article "Globalization strangles agriculture," wrote, "The health of Colombian adults and children that consume these imports from Argentina is at risk of illnesses like Leucosis Bovina that are transmitted to humans."

The Agricultural and Livestock Cooperative of Entrerios, in the department of Antioquia, has denounced that the daily production of 224,000 liters of milk by its 800 producers is at great risk because of imports, especially from Nestle (which together with Parmalat-Proleche and Wyeth Laboratories occupies 65 percent of this production). In various regions of the country, the communities are preparing forums to discuss the problem, and to agree on actions that will enable them to save their incomes and the life of these regions that are threatened by the voracity of the transnational corporations.

In other factories in Colombia, like Comestibles La Roso, the company has suspended various positions, constantly blames the workers when the production lines have to be halted, has installed video cameras in all of the areas (a violation of privacy), and constantly harasses the workers. The company has ignored the union leaders and threatens to extend the pay period - causing serious problems for the families' incomes and threatening the economy of the workers and the communities.

In Colombia, Agribrands Purina Colombia S.A. (producer of animal feed) has informed its workers and their union, Sintrapurina, that Nestle is demanding (prior to finalizing the purchase of their plants in Cartagena, Medellin, Bucaramanga, Buga, and Mosquera) that the union be terminated and all of the workers resign from their jobs - with the goal of lowering costs by hiring new workers with temporary contracts, without a union organization, and without a collective agreement. The 400 workers have worked for the company, on average, 18 years each. The company has demanded that they resign their jobs, throwing away the victories they've achieved, and resulting in unemployment and the empoverishment of their families. A few months ago, Nestle acquired from Cargill the company Ralston Purina (dog food). We assume that their workers had the same fate as is being offered to the workers of Agribrands Purina.

The violence of Nestle is world-wide. In one of its factories in the Philipines (where the workers had been on strike for four months), the police brutally beat the workers - causing fractures for thirteen of the workers. The workers had been on strike in protest of Nestle's violation of the rights established by the Supreme Court for pensioners. Nestle is maintaining 200 private segurity guards at the two entrances of the plant, and the plant is also serving as a camp for the Filipino police. Nestle converts the factories into camps for the public security forces in order to create terror in the community, destroy the unity of the workers, and misinform the members of the union, with the goal of putting them against the leaders and destroying the movement. This is the policy of Nestle all over the world. This reality urgently demands the globalization of solidarity against the globalization of misery, oppression, and death of the communities.

We ask that you join the efforts of struggle and unity against the intentions of Nestle, denouncing the company and demanding that it respect the human rights of the workers and the communities, not violate our collective agreeement, leave the workers in peace, and not contribute any further to the creation of chaos and misery in the various regions of Colombia.

Please send letters of protest to:


PRESIDENCIA NESTLE SUIZA (Presidency of Nestle in Switzerland)
Fax. 41-21-9211885; 41-21- 9211720; 41-22-9216488; 41-22-9244800
Send e-mail through

Presidente de Colombia

Ministro de Trabajo — Colombia (Labor Minister)

Agregada para Asuntos Políticos y Económicos (Attaché for Political and Economic Affairs)

Embajada de SUIZA — Colombia (Swiss Embassy)




President National Board

Colombia, June 19, 2002

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