During the recent III International Meeting of
Unilever Workers, held in Sao Paulo, SIREL spoke
with Artur Bueno de Camargo, President of the
National Confederation of Food Industry Workers
(CNTA), who took stock of this event.
-How important is this Meeting?
-It was extremely valuable, because we had the
opportunity to learn how Unilever treats
workers in Brazil, Argentina and
Chile. We found that in general the
conditions are the same for workers everywhere,
but that the transnational corporation tends to
level everyone down. It never tries to improve
the situation of its workers; its aim is always
to cut labor costs.
Which is why in terms of organization we’re
trying to create a Latin American Coordinating
Body that will enable us to communicate more
smoothly among ourselves, and even coordinate
actions in the future.
It’s important that we put aside any differences
that may exist between the various entities
concerned. The interest of the workers must be
placed above everything else. This is something
we’ve had a chance to try out at this meeting,
and it is why we can say that CNTA and
CONTAC are reflecting together on the best
way to organize and face the current situation
in Unilever with the aim of devising a
I’d like to add that Unilever’s
layoffs have no justification whatsoever. They
certainly can’t be justified by the company’s
sales, which have not gone down, and we need to
investigate what the real reason or the
intention behind the layoffs is, so we can be
prepared for the company’s next move.
This process has been possible thanks to the
IUF’s success in bringing together every
organized sector, and in this sense I would like
to highlight the proposal presented at this
Meeting, of seeking ways to open up a space for
coordination among food and chemical industry
trade unions that represent Unilever
workers. This would allow us to conduct joint
bargaining processes, as all of us are employees
of the same corporation.