Oreo owner Mondelez faces strike action in Belgium on Monday 27 March

Oreo owner Mondelez faces strike action in Belgium on Monday 27 March

Mondelez International, facing a week of union action in nine markets, has played the impact it could have on its business.

Sites in the US, the UK and Australia will be among those to see action, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations said on Friday (24 March).

The IUF said the "week of global trade union action" would be a signal of workers' "commitment to defending quality permanent employment against the destructive short-termism which is driving management at Mondelez". The union said the action would take the form of "work stoppages, demonstrations and media events".

Sites in four more European markets - Austria, Belgium, France and Norway - plus South Korea and Pakistan will also see action. Staff at three Mondelez sites in Belgium will go on strike on Monday. just-food understands it is only these facilities that will see workers go on strike.

Speaking to just-food yesterday, a spokesperson for Mondelez's European arm said: "We confirm that the union in Belgium has initiated strike action on Monday. We are engaged in a constructive dialogue with the employee representatives and aim to continue a constructive working partnership. The strike will have no impact on the supply of our products. Necessary measures have been taken to ensure service is not disrupted."

The IUF claimed on Friday Mondelez had "mortgaged its future" since the Cadbury and Oreo owner was created in 2012.

"The company relies on unsustainable levels of borrowing to fund share buybacks and dividends at the expense of investment in manufacturing, innovation and the workforce. The need for periodic cash infusions to fund short-term business costs is driving a destructive cycle of permanent restructuring and the sell-off of profitable brands and product sectors. Mondelez workers are caught in an endless cycle of closures, layoffs and outsourcing with no relief – and no growth prospects – in sight," the union asserted.

Mondelez declined to comment on the IUF's claims when approached by just-food.