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Fears over 60 Unilever jobs
The Oilfields’ Workers Trade Union (OWTU) has expressed concern about plans by Unilever Caribbean Limited (UCL) to sell a portion of its operations. Union officials say if the decision is made to sell, it could affect the jobs of 60 workers and threaten pensions.
The instruction to sell was reportedly handed down from the company’s global headquarters, OWTU general secretary Richard Lee told the T&T Guardian.
The impending job losses led to industrial unrest at the company. Last week, workers staged a picket demonstration outside Unilever’s Champs Fleurs headquarters to show their opposition to the restructuring plan.
Lee said the union met with Unilever’s management recently to discuss the company’s strategic direction for the company.
“We met with the management concerning the sale of the suds business at UCL. The global decision makers made the decision to sell off the suds business,” he said.
“Word has it out there that there is one potential buyer and that buyer presented a binding proposal. In that binding proposal, there are some requirements that must be met before the official sale happens.”
Lee said while the company’s management offered some guarantees during their meeting, the union is not comfortable with those assurances.
However, he added: “The union was given the respect it deserved.”
Lee is now appealing to the Government to take notice of the trend of restructuring now becoming more widespread in the labour market. He added that he is not happy with the Government’s response to the amount of retrenchments taking place.
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