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With Artur Bueno de Camargo

A common strategy
to take on Unilever



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 common strategy.


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.

From Sao Paulo, Carlos Amorín
March 24, 2009




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