After a temporary factory shutdown earlier this year, Nutella faces its latest challenge as striking workers and activists have brought production at the brand’s largest factory to a near standstill.
Workers at the Villes-Ecares factory, located in Normandy, have been on strike since late May, shutting down production almost entirely and preventing vehicles from entering or exiting the plant, putting resources at risk.
A spokesperson for Ferrero told CNN that reserve supplies, plus the current amount of production, should prevent a global shortage.
Around 160 factory workers out of 350 have been protesting since Monday. Only one of the four production lines are operational, drastically cutting the plant’s Nutella production to a fifth of its usual size.
The Italian company Ferrero, which owns Nutella, produces over 300,000 tons of the chocolate-hazelnut spread annually. This plant produces over 600,000 jars of Nutella every year, making it the largest producer in the world.
“It’s war,” union activist Fabien Lacabanne said in a statement. “Anger is mounting.”
Workers have demanded a 4.5 percent pay raise, along with a $1,000 annual bonus. Management at Ferrero has only offered a 1.7% increase and a one-time bonus between $0 and $500.
Though Ferrero said it wants to protect workers who aren’t on strike, they are threatening fines to striking employees.
The next negotiation between the union and Ferrero will take place June 13.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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