Unilever Knorr stock cubes quit Italy, workers strike

Trade unions argue that the relocation has been set without warning. Photo credit: il Fatto Quotidiano

SANGUINETTO - Unilever workers in Sanguinetto, in the Province of Verona, are striking against the collective dismissal of 76 employees, which follows the British-Dutch transnational’s decision to transfer the production of Knorr stock cubes to Portugal.

 Trade unions – which include the Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori (CISL), the Confederazione Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) and the Unione Italiana del Lavoro (UIL) - argue that the relocation has been set without warning. “Despite last year’s reorganisation and the strong increase in workloads, they have decided to relocate without notice. The Sanguinetto plant has been working for 60 years and must be maintained,” the unions said according to La Reppublica.

 The transnational emitted an official statement denying the complete closure of the plant and therefore the abandonment of Italy by Knorr. “The rationalisation concerns exclusively the area of ​​the plant related to traditional stock cubes and not the other food productions, and is justified by a continuous decrease in the market demand for this type of products,” declared the company.

 "Intervention is necessary to ensure the future sustainability of the plant, allow the continuation of other productions currently present and put the site in a position to seize future opportunities,” Unilever continued.

 On Wednesday, a garrison was organized in front of the plant that employs a total of 161 people, where trade unions met with company representatives at the General Confederation of Italian Industry’s (Confindustria) headquarters in Verona.