Enviar este artículo por Correo ElectrónicoNestlé                   

Dominican Republic

With Flaudio Tapia

Banditry and Exploitation II

Nestle, an irresponsible company


There are still repercussions after the closure of the ice-cream plant, occurred on 19 June in Santo Domingo. In order to know what is happening to laid off workers and union action, Sirel interviewed Flaudio Tapia, General Secretary of the Workers Union of the Nestle Ice-Cream plant.


“Discovering, under the new forms of

social exclusion, the present status of exploitation”

Georges Labica



Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, former top officer of Nestlé, often makes philanthropic comments. This distinguished and sensible gentleman frequently states his concern about the global rise in food prices and the increasing hunger in the world, topics which keep him awake, and whose first steps in business were selling ice-cream. Anyhow, we cannot imagine Mr. Brabeck with end-of-month money shortages or with problems to pay the fees of his psychologist. But the one hundred workers laid off in Santo Domingo do have problems. They do not know how to offset the worries and uneasiness for having lost their job -without warning- and now being a part of the logic of economic, social and emotional destructuring.


-What has happened since the plant closure?

-We have experienced extreme anxiety. Many workers suffer from insomnia and psychological problems . The way in which Nestlé closed the plant was very traumatic for everyone. The three additional salaries included in the severance package are not enough to pay a specialist or a therapist. It is terrible.


-Can you go deeply into the subject?

-Yes.  The closure caught everyone by surprise. On the 19th the plant was surrounded by security guards, police officers, two ambulances and paramedics. Can you imagine the shock for workers?! No one was expecting that.


-How many workers are under this psychological stress?

-More than 16. We are seeking assistance for them, which will be paid with the remaining union resources. We are looking for professionals whose fees are not too high. Our colleague Rosa Iris de la Cruz, who used to be a union leader, had a miscarriage.


-When was that?

-A few days after losing her job.


-Nestlé has spread the news that efforts would be made by the company to relocate some workers in the other two Nestle plants.  Has this happened?

-Regrettably not. We are used to Nestlé double standards. They spread the word as if they were a responsible company, but there has been no meeting with the union or any preparatory steps for workers before the closure. That’s the way they are!


-What action will the union take?

-We are bringing legal action in our country because of the abuse and several violations of Nestlé. We are preparing the case with the legal advisors of the National Union Confederation (CNUS).


-To be crystal clear:  Nestle never informed that it would close the plant, did they?

-That's right! So much so that the day before the massive layoffs, at the plant of San Francisco de Macoris, 200 gallons of milk were processed for ice-cream and we even worked overtime.


-What is Nestle doing with such production now?

-They are producing with outsourced workers. -  That's the way Nestlé is!!


Gerardo Iglesias


July 22, 2008








On 28 April, 2003, Nestle closed, without previous notice, its plant in El Salvador.


In 2007, when the Dominican Republic was recovering from the devastating effects of the hurricane Noel, Nestle, ignoring the social tragedy being experienced by the country, laid off 11 workers of its ice-cream plant in Santo Domingo.


On 19 June last, without previous dialogue with the Union or the Ministry of Labor, Nestle closed the mentioned ice-cream plant.


Nestlé spends fortunes promoting its policy of corporate social responsibility, while its corporate acts and signals, show lack of respect for its workers and for the community as a whole.





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