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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 04/28/2014 - 15:55

Honduras: SABMiller fails to comply with working hours and diminishes workers’ safety due to excessive workloads

Strong call by the STIBYS to the brewery Cervecería Hondureña

On 5 April, José Antonio Molina Reyes, a driver and sales representative of Cervecería Hondureña SA (SABMiller), a member of section 2 of the San Pedro Sula branch of the Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers (STIBYS), arrived at work very early. He waited over two hours while they loaded the lorry and set out, as he always did, to earn his living, little knowing that he was never again to repeat this daily routine.

Strong call by the STIBYS to the brewery Cervecería Hondureña

On 5 April, José Antonio Molina Reyes, a driver and sales representative of Cervecería Hondureña SA (SABMiller), a member of section 2 of the San Pedro Sula branch of the Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers (STIBYS), arrived at work very early. He waited over two hours while they loaded the lorry and set out, as he always did, to earn his living, little knowing that he was never again to repeat this daily routine.
José Antonio was killed by one or more shots but the reason for the murder is still unclear. What is known for certain is that he was on his way back after a long and exhausting day when the lorry was intercepted by a gang of criminals in San José del Boquerón, Choloma.

“When he was attacked, our colleague had already been working for 12 hours and it would still have taken him another three hours to get back to the plant and finish operations. We are talking about a working day of over 15 hours, almost without a break, which puts workers’ safety seriously at risk”, the General Secretary of the STIBYS told REL’s Julio Flores.

Under the Labour Code, the working day of sales representatives cannot exceed 12 hours and must include a minimum of one and a half hours rest.

Furthermore, the collective agreement signed between the STIBYS and Cervecería Hondureña (SABMiller) provides that the working day begins between 6.00 and 7.30 a.m. and ends on completion of operations.

“This means that the 12 hours start as soon as the worker enters the plant until completion of sales for the day, but the company interprets and twists the rules and regulations to suit itself”, explained Flores.

According to the trade union leader, Cervecería Hondureña not only calculates the 12 hours from the time when the worker leaves the plant until his return, thus excluding the time for loading the lorry, the long queue outside the plant at night and the completion of operations, but it also tends to overload the lorries and not accept returns, on pain of penalties.

“Under these conditions imposed by the company, workers tend to come in to the plant very early, and wait several hours while the lorry is loaded, extending their working day until they have sold everything, without taking the hour and a half rest”, Flores added.

“These conditions”, he continued, “put workers in a highly vulnerable situation, because the later the team goes out and the longer the working day, the more likely they are to be the victims of aggression and assault”.

In the face of this seriously unsafe situation and the tragedy which has plunged the national trade union movement into mourning, the STIBYS issued a strong call to Cervecería Hondureña (SABMiller) to comply with the working time for sales operations, not to overload lorries and to hire more teams.

In addition, it demanded an end to threats and sanctions against workers for returns and to respect the Labour Code and Collective Agreement.

The original story in Spanish is here : http://www.rel-uita.org/index.php/es/component/content/article/606-sindi...