SEIU California Cleaners Show Solidarity with Nestlé Russia Workers’ Struggle

SEIU Cleaners at Nestle USA headquarters
In the midst of a difficult contract campaign for the janitors servicing commercial buildings in California (including Nestlé USA headquarters in Glendale), members of SEIU Local 1877 showed their solidarity with the union struggle at the Nestlé factory in Perm, Russia by distributing leaflets and displaying banners on April 16.

The leaflet informed Nestlé headquarters employees that “Right now, subcontracted janitors who clean the Nestlé headquarters and other commercial office buildings are bargaining a Union contract to win fair wages, family health care, and dignified working conditions. But even as janitors bargain, Nestle’s workers at their KitKat plant in Perm, Russia have been in a four-month stalemate over their own Union contract. According to their union, IUF, Nestlé has refused to negotiate in good faith with their employees, telling them, ‘We don’t negotiate wages!’ IUF reports that many Nestlé workers have had to sell their own blood to supplement their low pay.” Following Nestlé’s “Have a break, have a KitKat” slogan, the leaflet called on the company to “Give KitKat workers a break!” and called for protest letters to Nestlé USA and Russia senior management.

The women and men who clean Nestlé’s headquarters understand well the situation of Nestlé workers in Perm: in order to secure a decent family income, California cleaners would have to work 112 hours a week at current wages!

Larisa Selivanova, chairperson of the trade union committee at the Perm Nestlé factory, thanked SEIU Local 1877 for its support: “It is very important for us as we are only beginning to join the global process of struggle for the best life of working people.” IUF Russia has offered to mobilize support for the cleaning contract struggle in California in any way it can.

Read more about the workers’ struggle at the Nestlé plant at Perm (in the Ural Mountains of Russia).

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