Solidarity, persistence and the support of the IUF have won reinstatement and permanent positions for 23 workers unfairly dismissed at Unilever’s factory in Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan for supporting the fight for permanent employment contracts.
The 2007 struggle at Rahim Yar Khan was one of three conflicts (two in Pakistan, one in India) with Unilever which were ultimately resolved in 2009-2010 through direct negotiations with the company under the auspices of the UK’s National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. As a result of that process, Unilever agreed to recognize the IUF and enter into a formal engagement process.
It was within the framework of that engagement that the IUF insisted on the need to fully address all issues at Rahim Yar Khan involving implementation of the 2009 agreement and obstacles posed by local management obstructions. Reinstatement of the 23, all of whom had been employed at the factory for more than 9 months and therefore should have been offered permanent contracts but were instead dismissed, was crucial to resolving these issues.
All 23 are now back at work on permanent contracts, including two workers who were working in Dubai and Saudi Arabia but maintained regular contact with the IUF and have now returned.