AP

World’s biggest Nutella factory blocked by French workers

Jun 4, 2019, 9:26 AM
FILE - In this June 18 2010 file photo,a bartender spreads Nutella on a crepe in a creperie in Rome...
FILE - In this June 18 2010 file photo,a bartender spreads Nutella on a crepe in a creperie in Rome. French workers frustrated over salary negotiations are blocking the world's biggest Nutella factory. Tensions are mounting at the site in Villers-Ecalles in Normandy, where activists from the Workers' Force union have been blocking trucks from entering or leaving the factory for a week. (AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar, File)
(AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar, File)

PARIS (AP) — No more Nutella?! French workers are threatening as much, bringing the world’s biggest Nutella factory to a near-standstill in a showdown over salary negotiations.

Tensions have been mounting at the site in Villers-Ecalles in Normandy, where activists from the Workers’ Force union have been barring trucks from entering or leaving the factory for a week.

The plant produces a staggering 600,000 jars of the chocolate and hazelnut spread every day — a quarter of the world’s output of a product cherished by children and adults alike.

After a six-day standoff, Nutella owner Ferrero on Monday started threatening fines for workers involved in the blockade, according to a company statement. Unions and the company say the blockade has nearly halted production, though it was unclear if – or when – that might create shortages in the global market.

The prospect of fines didn’t deter unions. Workers’ Force says 160 of the factory’s 350 workers are taking part in a walkout to demand 4.5% salary increases, one-time 900-euro bonuses and better working conditions.

“It’s war, anger is mounting,” union activist Fabien Lacabanne said in a statement.

He said the company agreed to a 1.7% raise for the lowest paid workers, and one-time bonuses between zero and 400 euros, which unions say isn’t enough given rising living costs. Unions also complain of deteriorating factory conditions and increasing pressure to be more productive.

Italian-owned Ferrero said it is trying to protect workers who aren’t on strike, and wants to resume dialogue — but not until the workers stop blocking the factory.

The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for June 13.

French workers frequently go on strike during salary negotiations and occasionally resort to more dramatic methods. The last strike to hit the Villers-Ecalles factory was in 2011.

The action comes amid anger among many low-income French workers at pro-business policies by President Emmanuel Macron seen as favoring the rich — and that prompted the yellow vest protest movement.

 

Today’s Top Stories

AP

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...
ALI ABDUL-HASSAN and ABBY SEWELL Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.
4 days ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
6 days ago
The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
7 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
8 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
8 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
World’s biggest Nutella factory blocked by French workers