The multinational Unilever, owner of the historic brand, will move the production, which has been in the Sanguinetto plant in Portugal for 54 years: it has opened the procedure for dismissing 76 employees
The Knorr nut, used for decades by families to prepare broth and to flavor dishes, leaves Italy. The Dutch multinational Unilever, owner of the historic brand since 2000, has announced it displacement from production in Portugal and, therefore, the opening of the collective dismissal procedure for 76 employees of the historic Sanguinetto plant, in the province of Verona. Workers have been on strike since this morning in front of the plant, where a total of 161 people work and jams and risottos are also produced. The rationalization, however, concerns only the area of the plant dedicated to traditional bouillon cubes and not that reserved for other food productions.
Only a year ago Unilever Manifacturing Italia had closed a dispute for 28 redundancies. The Cisl, Cgil and Uil trade unions blame the industrial policy of the multinational that "despite the reorganization of last year and the sharp increase in workloads, decided without prior notice to relocate the production of the Knorr nut to Portugal and the dismissal of 76 people ".
But the reason behind the decision to block production in one establishment that has been in operation for 54 years it is clear: the traditional nut is no longer throat, as explained by Gianfranco Chimirri, communication director of Unilever Italia. In Portugal, labor costs are lower: the relocation would be the only possible answer to the "significant difficulties encountered at European and Italian level in the field of traditional stock cubes, which led to a turnover decrease of more than 10% in two years, and the need to respond to the changing needs of the market ".
The intervention, according to the multinational company, is necessary to guarantee the future sustainability of the plant, protect the other productions and put the site in a position to seize any opportunities. "Sanguinetto keeps important cards to play," says Unilever, "like the production of gel nuts, of which it is the only manufacturer in the world, which is added to the production of risotteria, granular broth and jams. In the long term, the site's strategy will be to push towards a further diversification of the portfolio towards food products more in line with market trends and towards an ever closer bond with the Italian market ".
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