Blog: Workers take Unilever pensions fight to Davos
Sam Webb | 25 January 2012
UK workers clashing with Unilever over changes to its pension scheme are stepping up their protests.
Unilever staff from its Port Sunlight facility in Cheshire are travelling to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to confront the company's CEO Paul Polman, one of the co-chairs of this year's event.
The Unite union says the workers will be "puncturing corporate power's party bubble" at the WEF, a forum where influential people in politics, business and academia meet to discuss global issues.
Unite says Unilever has refused to negotiate over changes that it claims will hit some workers' pockets to the tune of 20-40% come retirement. Thousands of workers are currently engaged in a rolling programme of strikes at Unilever sites throughout the UK.
Jennie Formby, Unite's national officer, said: "It is frankly ridiculous that we have to go to these lengths to get a hearing for the workers, but we are determined that they will be heard.
"Mr Polman may feel that he is safe from protest among the global elite in a swanky ski resort where police outnumber the residents, but our members are going to tell him different. They will fight through snow, the biting cold and the heavy-handed policing because they intend to tell as many people as possible that a man who earns 285 times more than his workers is planning to rob them of thousands in their retirement.
"All these workers want is a fair hearing and their pensions promises to be honoured by one of the wealthiest companies on the planet.
"The Unilever workers will be carrying a message to the rich as they party at Davos on behalf of workers everywhere: your days of greed are up."
Unilever was not immediately available for comment at time of writing. However, in the past they have said the changes are a "tough and necessary choice" to protect the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the business.
"The reality is that the union representatives had multiple opportunities to help shape the greatly improved final outcome of consultation we reached in October, but unfortunately they decided to walk away from talks," the company said.
How can diet-related ill-health be tackled? How can the health and wellbeing of the population improve? Such a complex issue is often reduced to soundbites and brickbats, with industry in the firing l...
Dairy processors in Australia believe the agreement between Canberra and Beijing will make them more competitive in a key export market....
- Interview part 1: BRF CFO Augusto Ribeiro
- BRICs: The thinking behind Mondelez's Vietnam deal
- Comment: Why Gardein is Pinnacle's ideal fodder
- Deal or no deal: Should Danone buy Mead Johnson?
- Focus: Can BRF deliver aggressive growth?
- Kellogg trumps Abraaj bid for Bisco Misr
- Danone, General Mills, Chobani "mislead parents"
- Raisio buys UK, Ireland and Belgium Benecol ops
- Wrigley opposes Perfetti Van Melle "WTF" TM
- Dutch confirm second bird flu outbreak
- Early Signals: future scenarios that will drive consumption and product innovation over the next five years
- Dairy Product Production in China
- Energy Bars Market in Canada: Market Profile to 2017
- The Snackification of Breakfast
- PepsiCo, Inc. : Consumer Packaged Goods - Company Profile, SWOT & Financial Report