Tunisia: strike success in Coca-Cola Mégrine

Workers at the Coca-Cola factory in Mégrine, Tunisia, went on strike for two half days July 26 and 27 and won important improvements in the area of health and safety, as well as in remuneration. 

The union organisation at this plant had been on the forefront in January when they fought successfully to abolish agency work at Coca-Cola in Tunisia. Following this fight, all workers in the company are now directly employed by Coca-Cola bottler SFBT. 

In the Health and Safety sphere, workers are demanding better accident treatment facilities - a better medical station and an ambulance in the factory.  

Other demands included to implement a salary increase negotiated at national level between UGTT confederation and the employer's association, as well as social demands around vacation pay and bonuses for children's school entry.

After negotiations went into deadlock, workers wore red brassards for a week as a sign of protest, and then stopped the line July 26. 

Houcine Krimi, General secretary of the Coca-Cola union organisation and FGAT executive committee member, declares: "All workers are now employed directly by the company, so all these improvements would be applied to everybody. This is an enormous motivation for everybody to participate. It makes people also less afraid of retaliation.

Negotiations were renewed and on the second day of the strike an agreement was signed including the solution of the most pressing problems.

The law obliges a company to acquire an ambulance when there are more then 500 workers at a location. Here  in Megrine we have only 350, but the company has engaged now to buy one anyways.

They have also agreed to implement the 5,5% salary increase negotiated between the social partners at national level. in strictly legal terms, they were not obliged to do so, but we convinced them
anyway that this was fair to the workers.

We’ll also continue
discussions about a fair compensation for the fact that workers do lots of
overtime in summer and can’t take vacation, so their families suffer from this.
We’ll implement a solution as of next year and try to make that a solution for
all Coke factories in the country. 

The same
will happen with bonuses for workers who have children entering school, which
was another topic.

We received lots of support in this struggle from the other
factories and other unions, which was very important for our success.”


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