With Flaudio Tapia
Banditry and Exploitation II
Nestle, an irresponsible company
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”
former top officer of
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
happened since the plant closure?
have experienced extreme anxiety. Many workers suffer from insomnia and
psychological problems . The way in which
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?
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
workers are under this psychological stress?
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.
few days after losing her job.
spread the news that efforts would be made by the company to relocate some
workers in the other two Nestle plants. Has this happened?
not. We are used to
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!
action will the union take?
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
crystal clear: Nestle never informed that it would close the plant, did
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.
Nestle doing with such production now?
are producing with outsourced workers. - That's the way
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.
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.