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.
The plethora of food manufacturing associations in the UK has been argued by some to be an impediment to the industry coming to a coherent position on the aftermath of Brexit and on what the sector sh...
An update on Amazon's plans for the grocery sector. The usually reticent retailer has this week poured cold water on claims it has plans for 2,000 physical grocery stores....
Ask any FMCG executive to list the trends shaking up the sector and digital and e-commerce will be pretty high on the list. Drill down into that and Amazon will be one of the subjects in the digital s...
Since Theresa May took over as UK Prime Minister in the wake of the country's referendum vote to quit the European Union, she and her ministers have been at pains not to divulge their negotiating posi...
- Wessanen's move for Spain's Biogran - analysis
- The key questions for digital strategists in 2017
- Unilever 2016 investor day - the top takeaways
- Burger King, Jollibee: foodservice focus, Nov 2016
- Whole Foods, Aldi, M&S - retail round-up, Nov 2016
- General Mills jobs to go in business revamp
- Verlinvest, China Resources invest in Oatly
- Hain Celestial appoints Nestle executive as US COO
- Chobani COO Burns to leave yogurt firm
- Nestle invests in Italian pizza production
- How Brands Are Making Our Food Healthier
- Confectionery North America (NAFTA) Industry Guide_2016
- Processed Snacks (Savory Snacks) Market in the United States - Outlook to 2020: Market Size, Growth and Forecast Analytics
- Chocolate (Confectionery) Market in Belgium - Outlook to 2020: Market Size, Growth and Forecast Analytics
- Global Dried Processed Food Market 2016-2020