Nestlé V International Union of Food Workers (Russia)

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 11/02/2008
Date Closed 29/09/2008
Case Duration 33 weeks and 0 days
Host Country Russia  (OECD Accession Country)
Sector Food, Agriculture and Tobacco 
Issue(s) Refusal to engage in collective bargaining on wages
Provisions Cited II.2  IV.1-a  IV.2-a  IV.2-b  IV.7   
Case Description In February 2008, the IUF submitted a case to the Swiss NCP concerning a subsidiary of Nestlé in Russia, Nestlé Perm, and the right for workers to be represented by trade unions, the requirement to provide the information needed for meaningful negotiations and threats to transfer production in the context of an industrial dispute.

When the Nestlé Perm Workers Union requested the management of the confectionary plant in Perm in Russia to enter into wage negotiations in August 2007, the company refused asserting that it was standard Nestlé policy not to negotiate on wage issues. This led to a collective labour dispute being declared under Russian law obliging the parties to participate in a conciliation committee.

Following a legal picket in December 2007 and initial meetings of the conciliation committee, management began to pressure workers to withdraw their support for the union. Management threatened to transfer production if workers continued to support the union’s request for wage negotiations. Furthermore, a questionnaire was distributed at the plant seeking workers’ views on political parties, confidence in trade unions etc. The survey was stopped at the union’s request, but it clearly interfered with fundamental principles and rights at work.

Developments On 11 February 2002, the Swiss NCP acknowledged receipt of the submission. It then met separately with both parties in May 2008.

On 11 June 2008, union and management signed an agreement that wages would be part of the collective bargaining process, which was to be conducted annually starting in September 2008. The case was consequently closed in September 2008.

Organisations

Lead NCP Switzerland NCP : Single Government Department 

Companies

Multinational Company Nestlé (Home country: Switzerland)
Subsidiary Nestlé Perm (Home country: Russia)

Complainants

Lead Complainant International Union of Food Workers (IUF) : Global Union Federation 
Affected Party Nestlé Perm Workers Union : Company Union 

Related Documents

Peter Rossman  [Publication date: 13/7/2010] 'Whose Workplace? The ILO and Nestlé'
   http://cms.iuf.org/?q=print/443 [Date URL accessed: 22/7/2010]

Swss NCP  [Publication date: 29/9/2008] 'Closing statement regarding a labour dispute in Russia'
   http://www.seco.admin.ch/themen/00513/00527/02584/02586/index.html?lang=en [Date URL accessed: 22/8/2011]

TUAC Analysis

Did the NCP publish its initial assessment? status-icon
Did the case involve parallel proceedings? status-icon
Was the existence of parallel proceedings an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Was the businsess relationship other than that of a subsidiary? status-icon
Was the nature of the business relationship an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its acceptance of this case? status-icon
Did the NCP offer mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the company accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the complainant(s) accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation held? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation conducted by a professional mediator? status-icon
Did the parties reach agreement? status-icon
If yes, did the NCP publish this agreement following the consent of the parties? status-icon
If mediation was refused or failed did the NCP make an assessment of whether the company had breached the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP conduct in-host country fact finding? status-icon
Did the NCP make recommendations to the company on the future implementation of the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP publish its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP provide for follow-up of the agreement/recommendations? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP inform public pension funds about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP apply any consequences in this case? status-icon
Did the NCP follow the indicative timescales set out in the procedural guidance? status-icon
Was there a positive outcome for the workers involved in this case? status-icon
Did the filing of the case under the Guidelines have a positive impact for the workers involved? status-icon
Did the lead NCP play a positive role? status-icon
If different, did the home NCP play a positive role? status-icon

Implications

The refusal to enage in collective bargaining on wages on the grounds that wages are a commerical secret and therefore outside the scope of collective is in fact common practice in many parts of the world