Labour unions at Nestle Waters France's Perrier production plant in Vergeze, southern France, have voted unanimously in favour of re-launching the process aimed at gaining AOC status for the mineral water.

Nestle has not ruled out the sale of the Perrier brand. The unions see an AOC rating as preventing any possibility of Perrier being produced elsewhere.

The French press claims that Nestle is scheduled to make losses this year thanks in part to increased competition from Danone's Badoit sparkling water brand.

Earlier this year, Nestle Waters France clashed with the main Perrier union, the CGT, over the implementation of an early retirement plan. The threat of a sell off and government intervention eventually brought the two sides to an agreement.

However, unions continue to oppose the company's re-organisation plans in France as a whole. These are scheduled to take effect from 1 January and entail setting up five subsidiaries, including three water production companies -  Vittel-Contrex, Perrier and Quézac.