European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

FNV and NGG: JDE couldn’t care less about good industrial relations


Workers to take strike action at Utrecht coffee factory and Bremen, Germany administrative facilities November 22

Jacobs Douwe Egberts workers in both Germany and the Netherlands will take industrial action on Thursday 22 November. In the Netherlands, the workers at the coffee factory in Utrecht will strike for a good collective bargaining agreement. At the same time, workers from Jacobs Douwe Egberts’ Bremen, Germany administrative facility will be on strike. About twenty to thirty members of the German trade union NGG on strike are expected to join their striking colleagues in Utrecht on Thursday afternoon. The IUF, to which both FNV and NGG are affiliated, will be represented in Utrecht to give international support to this joint action.

JDE has 15,000 workers worldwide, of which 2,100 are in Netherlands and about 1,500  in Germany. On behalf of the employees in the Netherlands, the food industry section of FNV is demanding a wage increase of 3.5% retroactively to 1 July of this year. According to Niels Suijker of the FNV: 'Last year Jacobs Douwe Egberts made a 431 million euro profit and the company continues to do very well. The company has presented its final offer and now refuses to listen to the response of its own employees. It's take it or leave it. Dutch and German employees today are fighting together for fair collective agreements. That's a strong message that JDE can and should not ignore.'

The German trade union NGG is traveling with a group of German strikers to Utrecht to show their solidarity. In Germany JDE refuses to negotiate with the union and has unilaterally terminated its agreement with its workers’ union, NGG. A refusal to negotiate with NGG is a violation of collective bargaining rights and of the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises. Instead, the company is attempting to reach agreements with the works council – which, according to German labour law, is illegal.

For more information:

Niels Suijker, bestuurder FNV Voedingsindustrie: 06-51258003

Brenda Heidinga, persvoorlichter FNV Industrie: 06-53578256

Dieter Nickel, Geschäftsführer Gewerkschaft NGG Bremen-Weser-Elbe, +491713177367

Details about the action:

Who: coffee factory employees Jacobs Douwe Egberts Utrecht

What: 24-hour strike

When: Thursday 22 November. The strike starts Thursday morning at 06.00 a.m. Registration of the strikers from 05:30 to 07:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. The German strikers will join us in Utrecht between 1:30 and 4.30 p.m. The programme with speakers, including FNV president Han Busker, starts at 2.15 p.m..

Where: Utrecht, near the Jacobs Douwe Egberts factory, Vleutensevaart 35

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.