Coca-Cola Irkutsk: international negotiations ensure observance of trade union rights

Irkutsk Coca-Cola workers voting for IUF affiliation Although Coca-Cola, and the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company in particular, declare their readiness to observe trade union rights, the formation of new union locals still sometimes meets difficulties due to local managements hostility. But this can be stopped.

Swift and decisive IUF intervention and efficient interaction with senior Coca-Cola management helped resolve some such problems at CCHBC`s distribution centre in Irkutsk.

(picture of Maxim Dombrovsky) After workers had united into a trade union May 1, they soon reported about discrimination against trade union members, threats of dismissal, and a generally repressive athmosphere. The problems of violation of labour legislation the new local had raised, on the other hand, were not being resolved. After IUF and regional union interaction with CCHBC senior management, a plan of action was drawn up including employment security for 5 workers that had been threatened dismissal or already been dismissed, education of management on HSE issues and trade union rights, observance of legal requirements in labour relations in the future, a grievance procedure, and others.

However, disagreement remains over the dismissal of two workers. “While the company quotes absenteeism as the reason for the dismissal of two market development agents, we are convinced the true reason is their trade union activity. Both workers have notified their supervisors about absence on the day in question and received approval. However using the almost total absence of correct procedure at the facility until very recently, the company now tries to blackmail them.” comments Vitaly Drozzhakov, regional union representative. Both workers have filed reinstatement lawsuits.

The IUF continues to closely monitor the situation and fulfilment of agreements reached.

(pictures show Irkutsk Coca-Cola worker's vote for IUF affiliation, and Maxim Dombrovsky, chairman of the trade unionlocal)


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