FNV Bondgenoten members who will be outsourced to Sodexo on May 1 ended their strike on April 9 with a spirited demo at Unilever headquarters while a new international support action by South African IUF members was taking place in at Unilever Food Services Pietermaritzburg. After an unprecedented 6 weeks of industrial action in the Netherlands Unilever finally agreed to negotiations and the strikers approved the settlement on April 12.
The settlement brings improved pension compensation for transferred employees serving up to ten years with Sodexo, guaranteed employment for three years and other workplace guarantees including no split shifts.
On April 9 the strikers gathered at Unilever headquarters in Rotterdam dressed in wigs and masks and pushing rollators. When Unilever’s CFO agreed to meet with the strikers they presented him with an abacus, the traditional Chinese calculating device, to compute their pension losses. The long denied negotiations then got underway between Unilever and the union.
While the strikers were demonstrating in Rotterdam FAWU members at the Unilever Pietermaritzburg site showed their support with a union demonstration and petitions to local and corporate management.
FNV Bondgenoten and the strikers have expressed warm appreciation for the international support and solidarity they received throughout this long and difficult conflict.