By Maximilian Clarke
On the eve of the second ever strike at Unilever's UK operations, Unite has released a film today (Tuesday 17 January) revealing the truth behind the ’dirty’ tactics being used to undermine the pensions of the workforce.
’Unilever - not as clean as it claims’ reveals how the world's third largest consumer products company pays its CEO Paul Polman 285 times more than the average worker yet is forcing through plans that will see UK workers' pensions fall by between 20 and 40 per cent. Unite says this is a continuation of a global strategy which has seen the company cut jobs and pursue ruthless outsourcing in order to generate wealth for its executives at the expense of the workforce.
The film can be viewed on the Unite website or on YouTube. Unite is urging viewers to send a simple message to CEO Paul Polman, which is: "It is time for you to talk."
Tomorrow (Wednesday) workers will begin a programme of 11 days of strike action right across the UK operation, hitting production of leading brands from Pot Noodle to Marmite, Persil to Dove. The workers are furious that the company is planning to ditch their final salary pension scheme despite earlier assurance to the workforce that it would be retained and the company's point-blank refusal to discuss alternatives with the workers' unions.
Strike action begins at 06:59 hours tomorrow (Wednesday 18 January), running until 24:00 hours on Saturday 28 January 2012. This action follows Unilever cancelling planned Christmas celebrations for workers taking part in their first ever strike action last month to defend their pension scheme.
Reiterating the call for Unilever to discuss the pension through conciliation service Acas, Unite national officer Jennie Formby said: “The hard working workforce made Unilever into the global giant it is today but consumers will soon know the company better for its greedy pensions snatch than its products.
“This film will be a best seller — it will be viewed millions of times. We urge shoppers to watch it and support workers in their fight to protect the pensions promises made to them.
“Unilever needs to clean up its act. Get back round the table before you ruin the business’ reputation for good.”
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