Restructuring and outsourcing at Uruguay Heineken

The company Milotur SA, owned by Heineken Holding, presented in late May a restructuring plan in the distribution sector which lays off 46 workers. According to the transnational this measure was taken because the current distribution system is inefficient. However the company failed to provide any documentation proving this claim.

The Employees' Union Nix Native (SENNA) is negotiating the least possible impact and trying to protect all jobs. Emilio Borges, President of the Union, explained to the IUF Latin America region that what is negotiated at this moment is that the new companies/businesses that will do the distribution of Nix, Nativa, Heineken and Shneider products are absorbing the workers that Milotur SA will get rid of at its plant.

"On June 28, the union organized a meeting with the company along with the Federation of Employees of the Drink (FOEB) to try to relocate all the comrades who will be laid off to the outsourced new distributors for Milotur "said Borges.

In Montevideo logistics distribution is divided into two groups: a traditional route serving to stores and small supermarkets and another one dealing with large customers.

Milotur currently has six distributors, five in Montevideo. The other companies in the industry have one or two major distributors.

For the reinstatement of workers, we will continue to negotiate several possibilities

The Union has some proposals to relocate the workers to the distribution system of Nix-Native. One of them is to bring unionized workers to the new logistics operator to stay with the distribution for large customers and another proposal is to evaluate the possibility of forming a workers' cooperative to serve to small neighborhood supermarkets and department stores, "he said.

According to the leader there are great possibilities in the negotiation between the company and new distribution service providers to take into account the Union’s proposals in order to reintegrate the workers.

Asked about the conditions in which these workers would work, Borges said that it is still being negotiated but that the SENNA asks for both working conditions and wages be maintained.

"We are negotiating on all the seniority be maintained. For now the company proposes to pay appropriate compensation and that workers start from scratch in the new distributors, but we will work to maintain this because the loss of seniority bonuses and benefits affects licenses not to mention job security, "said the leader.

What worries workers is that it is still not defined which company will take care of logistics.

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