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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 08/21/2015 - 14:24

Honduras: SABMiller keeps its intransigent attitude delaying collective bargaining negotiations

Almost a year after the beginning of the collective bargaining process between the IUF-affiliated Union of Beverage Industry (STIBYS) and Honduran Brewery SA, owned by the transnational SABMiller, the combative Honduran union had no option but to terminate the direct settlement stage and start the mediation process.

Almost a year after the beginning of the collective bargaining process between the IUF-affiliated Union of Beverage Industry (STIBYS) and Honduran Brewery SA, owned by the transnational SABMiller, the combative Honduran union had no option but to terminate the direct settlement stage and start the mediation process.

"From the beginning SABMiller would hinder negotiations. Without respecting due process, the company denounced 50 of the 72 provisions in the collective agreement, plus two new clauses, and stretched the first round of direct settlement stage for nearly 11 months," stated Francisco Javier Oviedo, spokesperson of STIBYS negotiating committee.

"Negotiators had no decision-making power and requested full days of recess. Until they reached a point of wanting to adopt a clause, the employer, in fact, greatly limited the actions of our union.

On top of this delay, we were accused of intransigence and not wanting to advance the negotiations. The employer wanted to wear out the union psychologically and economically," said Oviedo.

As a result of the irresponsible attitude of SABMiller, mediation began.

Given the negligent attitude of the British-South African transnational company in Honduras, which also has the franchise to produce Coca Cola, STIBYS decided to terminate the direct settlement stage and request mediation.

"Since there were no conditions to continue negotiations in good faith and in accordance with the rules of debate, we decided to adhere to Article 792 of the Labour Code," declared the union official.

That article requires the company to provide a specific answer to all requests of workers, at the latest within the start of ten days of talks.

In addition, the union negotiating committee met with the Ministry of Labour, noting both the dilatory attitude of the company and the violation of due process committed when denouncing the 52 clauses.

"Honduran Brewery answered us before the expiry of the term of ten days but by always pretending to question our list of demands. Finally the company decided to end the direct settlement stage," Oviedo said.

It is expected that next week the parties will be back to the negotiation table, this time with the help of mediators.

"We want the company to understand that we are not the enemies. We want to reach a satisfactory agreement for both parties in which workers' rights are respected," Oviedo added.

STIBYS currently has 1,756 members in the Honduran Brewery nationwide.