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Nestlé boycott

Activists of labour unions of Goplana in Poznań (NSZZ Solidarność), Workers' Initiative, Anarchists' Federation and Food Not Bombs were protesting in Poznań, Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Sopot and Szczecin on Sunday the 27th of June. They called for a boycott of Nascafe. This is a form of protest against mass dismissal of workers and liquidation of workplaces in Poland.

Nestle is one of the biggest food producers in the world consisting of 452 factories (326 in Gwam network). More than 90% of these are outside Switzerland. A total of corporation's trade (209 billions Swiss franks) is much bigger than Polish budget. Nestle employs about 90.000 people, 2370 in Poland. The company appeared in Poland in 1993. In the first year of its work Nestle's trade reached a total sum of 8 million zloty. In 2003 the trade rose to almost 1 billion 400 million zloty. At the same time, over the past few years, Nestle fired thousands of workers in Poland. For example in Goplana factory in Poznań two thousand people have lost their jobs, as well as in Winiary factory in Koszalin. In Kobylnica two hundred people were fired. There are information that Nestle, before year 2006, wants to withdraw from production in Poland, but it will keep the position of dominant distributor. There are suspicions that Goplana factory in Poznań will be the first one forced to close.

 

Some time ago Nestle has stopped advertising Goplana's products. According to labour union members, this indicates that the factory in Poznań is going to be closed down. Worried about their employment, workers decided to call for the boycott of Nescafe coffee. During demonstration on the Old Market in Poznań, a few hundred citizens were present, many of whom joined the picket. Goplana workers were distributing leaflets with information about the boycott and free samples of Goplana products. "don't buy, don't drink Nescafe", "First people, than income" - were the paroles on the leaflets. A total amount of the leaflets distributed in Poznań was 4000. Along with sweets from Goplana, passer-bys could have some coffee from Zapatists' collective production, imported on fair trade rules, and some vegan house-made cookies. Similar actions were taken all over Poland.

In Krakow, anarchists' Federation and Workers' Initiative organized a picket in front of Nescafe café in the centre of the city. About 20 people gathered under banners with slogans like : "Nascafe Boycott" and "no more workers' dismissal", they were scanning verses like "don't drink at the thieve's place" and "capitalism = cannibalism". During the picket, interested passer-bys were informed about the case of the action, about the way coffee grains are gained from big plantations and violations of workers' rights, and treated with zapatists' coffee and cookies. "Do you value your addiction more than workers' rights?", "first people, than income" - these were the paroles of a picket on Nowy Świat in Warsaw, where 15 people were protesting. Prior to the event, activists from Warsaw were disseminating leaflets in front of supermarkets in the city. In Szczecin, stickers with "don't buy" writing appeared on packets of Nescafe coffee in Carrefour and Geant stores. This action was organised, realized and promoted in the media by Workers' Initiative and Anarchists' Federation in Bydgoszcz and Sopot.

All kind of media in Poland were interested in the action. Nestle's spokesperson, Agnieszka Wąsik, stated in Gazeta Poznańska (local newspaper in Poznań) that "calling for boycott, especially by workers and labour union, is not justified, incomprehensible and illogical". Labour union's members in Poznań are planning to organize further actions.

Multinational corporation Nestlé tries to move the production out of Poland by a liquidation of workplaces and so it threatens a closure of Goplana plant - the symbol of city and region - that exist from 1912.

Since Nestlé appeared in Goplana 2000 people lost their jobs there. Employment in our plant decreased from 2700 to 715 workers. The reductions touched also 2000 workers from Winiary in Kalisz. Simultaneously in the same time Nestlé corporation had quite big profits.

During laat 10 years the sale of company increased from several million zlotys to 1,4 billion!

It is more and more sounded that Nestlé corporation is going to liquidate the production in Poland to 2006 at all, but it will still keep a strong position on polish food market. For example the production of sweets produced in Goplana will be moved to Hungary, Czech Rep., Bulgaria and other countries. During the beginning of negotiating the privatization contracts the corporation's authorities promised to invest in the development of polish food industry and increse the level of employment. Workers-shareholders of the company were fooled. The promisses were never kept.

A lot of generations of Wielkopolska inhabitants worked for the company's position. Mark Goplana is recognized all over the poland. Today Goplana is replaced by Nestlé logo, sweets produced in our plant are no longer advertised.

Beginnig the protest, first we would like to promote the Goplana mark and second call all inhabitants of Wielkopolska and Poland to boycott one of the products of Nestlé - Nescafé.

Don't buy, don't drink Nescafé coffee!!! We demand bigger respect for our work, property and tradition!!! First people, then profits!!!

KZ NSZZ "Solidarity" and workers of Poznan's Goplana

OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza
Komisja Krajowa

ul. Kościelna 4/1a, 60-538 Poznań
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