Atlanta: IUF delegation appreciates dialogue with company, raises Philippines, India, North America issues among others

During the spring session of the regular meetings between IUF and TCCC in Atlanta, the IUF delegation expressed appreciation for the ongoing constructive and open dialogue with TCCC.
Especially the positive outcomes of the comprehensive agreement between IUF, TCCC and Coca-Cola Icecek signed last summer to resolve problems of union recognition in Pakistan were appreciated, and the positive implementation process of this agreement highlighted.

Whereas this was valued as a very positive example, the national consultation and resolution process set up through the IUF-TCCC consultations in the Philippines is under threat to suffer severe set-backs by the appalling incident of a supervisor harassing and finally beating a union representative. The IUF made it very clear that swift remedial action is expected once the facts provided to TCCC have been verified.

Issues around the abuse of casual work again figures strongly in the discussion, including on Colombia, where according to company figures 2/3 of the people actually doing work in the Coca-Cola system, notably in distribution and sales, are not Coca-Cola workers, but externalized and outsourced in some form of bogus self-employment. Concerns about the abuse of various of forms of casual work were also raised with regard to particular cases in India, Morocco, Guatemala, and Japan.

In a discussion of union-management relations in the framework of the acquisition of CCE North American operations by TCCC, IUF delegates from North America and IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald expressed strong opinions concerning the use of so-called “persuaders” (anti-union consultancy groups) by the company during union organizing campaigns and pointed out that management must not regard the free choice of employees to join a union, a basic right spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as “management failure”.

The next joint meeting will take place in October 2011.

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