Dutch-based confectioner Perfetti Van Melle, makers of Mentos, Chupa Chups and Alpenliebe among other global brands, doesn’t believe workers in Bangladesh have the right to form a union, and is aggressively attacking workers attempting to form one.
After a large majority of workers at the company’s plant in Gazipur formed the Perfetti Van Melle BD Pvt. Ltd. Employees’ Union and applied for legal registration of their organization on November 11, workers were told by management to withdraw the application. Union officers were rescheduled and denied access to the plant. And the company is visiting workers in their homes pressuring them to withdraw their union membership and to sign a form stating they were forced to join the union, a common tactic used by employers in South Asia seeking to claim that the union has no real members.
The union has responded that workers have a legal and constitutional right to form a union, and that it is an internationally recognized human right.
Perfetti Van Melle apparently doesn’t believe that such a right exists. Informed of these gross rights violations by the IUF, the company responded that “I can assure you that based on our company values we will follow due process and engage with our employees according to local law.” This “due process” shows complete disregard for international standards and human rights due diligence, allowing global management to ignore the situation and local management to escalate the attack on rights by forcing workers to sign false statements to resign from the union under threat of termination.
CLICK HERE to send a message to Perfetti Van Melle management calling on the company to ensure that management in Bangladesh fully respects trade union rights, stops interfering with trade union registration and victimizing union officers and engages in good faith negotiations with the workers’ trade union representatives NOW.