Production at Nutella stopped due to strike

Author: Mario Schmidtgen
Date: 05.06.2019

World’s largest factory shut down

Employees at the Nutella plant in Villers-Écalles, France, where a quarter of the world’s production takes place, have been on strike for six days. At the moment, only one of the four chocolate spread lines is operating with 20 percent of its capacity.

Around 160 of the 350 employees have laid down their work at the plant in northern France as union representatives announced. The reason for this is a dispute between management and employees, who are demanding a wage increase of 4.5 percent and a bonus of 900 euros per employee.

According to Fabrice Canchel of the Force Ouvrière trade union, the production of Nutella was largely stopped during the strike. The employees have been blocking the access to the plant for about a week now, which means that no new ingredients can be delivered: “No delivery van comes into the company or leaves it” reports Canchel.

The Nutella plant in Normandy belongs to the Italian confectionery group Ferrero. Not only the production of the nut nougat cream is affected, but also that of the Kinder Bueno chocolate bar. Its production has already had to be discontinued. Normally about 600,000 glasses are produced per day.

The management described the blockade of the factory in an internal e-mail as “illegal” and threatened to impose a fine of 1,000 euros per hour and employee on the strikers through a court order. The sanctions are valid from Monday morning. One of the employees told France 3 Normandy about “psychological pressure” on the measure.

According to Ferrero, the company spent six days in talks trying to reach an agreement. However, this was rejected by the union. It is still unclear how long the strike will last.