Perfetti van Melle, maker of Mentos and Chupa Chups, has repeatedly violated its workers’ fundamental rights in Gazipur, Bangladesh
Perfetti van Melle workers in Gazipur, Bangladesh began organizing a union at their workplace in June 2018. Perfetti van Melle management in Gazipur tried to stop the organizing effort by pressuring workers, visiting workers and their families in their homes, keeping union leaders from going to work, and submitting a fictitious list of worker names to the labour department to keep the union from being legally registered. Despite management efforts to keep these workers from registering their union, the PVM Union was granted legal collective bargaining status after 160 days of struggle on February 20, 2019, with international support.
After it was granted collective bargaining status, the PVM Union submitted several demands to Perfetti van Melle including a call to end the use of child labour in the factory, children supplied by PvM service and labour provider Rahat Corporation.
Shortly after the PVM Union submitted these demands to PvM management, thugs supplied by PvM contractor Rahat Corporation launched an organized attack on union members at the Gazipur factory. PvM management stood by as over 20 goons organized by Rahat Corporation entered the factory, sought out, beat and intimidated union members with bats and wooden sticks.
Despite numerous calls by the PVM Union and the IUF to end the use of child labour at the Gazipur factory and to remedy the harm caused to the children, there were around 25 children working in the factory as of August 2019, many documented to be between 12 and 17 years old. Some would have liked to go to school, but were unable to because they were working.
When the IUF exposed this exploitation, the children disappeared. Some have been located working in nearby factories; PvM refuses to discuss appropriate measures to remedy the harm inflicted on them.