Employees of Nestlé Philippines staged a picket at the company's Rockwell office yesterday, demonstrating against a restructuring programme that threatens to cause 128 redundancies in Nestlé's sales unit.

Rogelio Paldeng, president of the Makati division of the Union of Nestlé Employees (UNE), explained that the employees were angered by the company's shifting focus from sales to distributorship. The UNE is demanding the suspension of the redundancy programme and the start of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Nestlé management.

Paldeng added that employees would hold regular pickets during their break times until the management agrees to end the restructuring program and discuss the redundancies.

Nestlé management meanwhile stressed that the restructuring plans were not simply a case of cutting costs.

Pedro N. Dy-Liacco, director of communications, told Business World: "The shift to distributorship is a business decision Nestle has to take, not to cut costs, but to improve our grocery division's ability to serve the trade and thus have its products become more readily available to a wider range of consumers."