Russian trade union pledges European anti-Nestle campaign
(RIA Novosti) - Russia's largest trade union said on Tuesday it would launch a Europe-wide campaign against Nestle for its "anti-staff" activities in Russia, the trade union's chief said.
"We are launching a determined fight against Nestle for its 'anti-staff' activities in Russia. Such companies should not be working on the Russian market," said Mikhail Shmakov, head of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR).
Shmakov said employees from a Nestle factory in Perm, in the Urals, would picket Nestle Moscow office in Moscow at 2:00 p.m. Moscow time (11:00 a.m. GMT). However, he said, only 10 picketers could take part at a time due to a "lack of space."
Workers at Nestle in the Urals have already held several protests demanding higher wages and criticizing the company for ignoring regional inflation rates.
Agricultural union leader Natalya Agapova said the average wage at Nestle's Kamskaya confectionary plant was 16,000 rubles ($671), with factory workers receiving a meager 7,000 rubles ($294).
Nestle Kamskaya's management has called the workers' demands "ungrounded," but said it was ready to hold talks with its employees.
Headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, Nestle was founded in 1866 by Henri Nestle and is today the world's biggest food and beverage company. It reported net profits of $10.5 billion last year.
The food producer employs around 276 050 people and has factories or operations in almost every country in the world.