Indonesia: Arnott's, a subsidiary of Campbell Soup Company, faces allegations of forcibly dismissing workers; company responds

A report alleged that Arnott's Indonesia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Campbell Soup Company, dismissed about 300 workers without cause. Allegations of coercion and unjustifiable downsizing of company operations were also raised.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Campbell Soup Company to respond. The company's response is linked below.

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Company response
18 June 2018

Arnott's Indonesia & Campbell Soup Company response

Author: Arnott's Indonesia and Campbell Soup Company

"Arnott's Indonesia statement in response to FPBI claims," 18 June 2018

Campbell Soup Company has always maintained a commitment to fair and equitable treatment of all its employees worldwide. 

PT Arnott's Indonesia has recently reduced its workforce at its Bekasi bakery to ensure the number of employees is appropriate for current production levels. Arnott's has mde this decision to ensure it has the right capabilities and skills in place, and remains committed to delivering against its business strategy into the future.

Of the 320 employees at our Bekasi site who have been impacted by the restructure, only 10 employees or 3 percent of affected employees are disputing this process. Arnott's Indonesia...is participating in mediation arranged by the local Department of Labour to seek to resolve the concerns of these 10 employees.

...Arnott's Indonesia has no plans to recruit new permanent productioin employees at this time. 

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Article
7 June 2018

Indonesia: Campbell Soup subsidiary Arnott's discharge of 300 workers & union leaders reported to be tinged with coercion

Author: ATNC Monitoring Network

"FPBI AGAINST FORCED RETRENCHMENT BY ARNOTT'S INDONESIA (INC)", 26 May 2018

Arnott’s Indonesia is a wholly owned subsidiary of US food and beverage multinational, Campbell Soup Company...employs 1200 workers, among them 500-600 workers are contractual.

...[T]he unions at PT Arnots Indonesia, Indonesian Labor Struggle Federation (Federasi Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia/ FPBI) along with FPBI,  SPMAI, and KSPSI, received an invitation from the management to attend a meeting.... 

The management told the unions that the company is downsizing its workers because of declining in sales...

...FPBI, affiliates of KPBI, rejected the downsizing plan and refused to sign the meeting notes.... The management announced voluntary resignation for the permanent workers.

...[T]he company prevented the union officials from FPBI to enter the factory. The unions responded to it by launching a spontaneous demonstration, forming a picket line in front of the factory. ...Declining in sales is only a cover to sack workers.

...[T]he downsizing due to declining in sales contradicts with the memo posted by the management announcing that the company will recruit 200 people. .

..[A]bout 300 workers have been fired, including the leaders of the unions. ...[T]he company is trying to retrench workers by PDS or voluntary resignation mechanism. However, the term ‘voluntary’ is being used only to cover the retrenchment because there are indications of coercion done by the company.

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