Philippines: Rolling protests against new individual performance-based wage system that threatens job security, increases discrimination and removes wage bargaining rights

The management of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc (CCBPI), 100% owned by The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), is trying to replace annual wage increases bargained in Collective Agreements (and received by all members) with a new system of individual performance-based wage increments that could result in union members receiving no wage increase at all.

Under the new 3P (Presence, Performance, Participation) system, the annual wage increments currently negotiated in three-year Collective Agreements and Operational Performance Incentives (OPI) paid in addition to wage increases will be abolished, effectively removing the right to wage bargaining. Instead workers will be paid wage increases only in accordance to an Individual Performance Evaluation that has 4 rankings: EP (Excellent Performance); SP (Satisfactory Performance); DP (Developmental  Performance); and NP (No Performance).

Workers ranked NP in the first year of the Collective Agreement period will receive no wage increase or a minimal "lump sum” decided by management, but in the second year and third years of the Agreement will receive nothing. Taking into account inflation, it means their wages will decline each year.

3P also threatens job security because under “periodic performance reviews” conducted every 2 months, workers ranked NP three times in a row will be terminated without warning. The new rule reads:

“Section 1:  Failure to meet the required level of performance for three (3) periodic reviews within a twelve month period.  First Offense - Discharge

ACCUP argues that such a system is open to abuse and would allow unfair discrimination against union members by the supervisors who “evaluate” them subjectively: “... under P3 wage increases will just depend on the mercy of CCBPI management because the CCBPI management is the one who dictates and formulates the performance parameters. Every now and then they increase these parameters until it is no longer reasonable or attainable. So the performance ranking of workers will fall and they will get no wage increases then can be easily terminated.”

On 14 June the IUF-affiliated Alliance of Coca-Cola Unions Philippines (ACCUP) expressed its opposition to the new wage scheme during a meeting with CCBPI management and on the same day submitted a letter signed by 20 union presidents demanding that the introduction of P3 be stopped. With complete and utter disregard for this opposition, CCBPI management proceeded to force through the P3 resulting in one CBA deadlock after another.

Collective Agreement negotiations with the San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank and File Union were deadlocked on 28 June, and the next day CBA negotiations with both the Kasamma CCO (CCCBPI Meycauayan dailies union) and the Coca-Cola Sales Force Union-Meycauayan were deadlocked on the same issue.

On 7 July the San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank & File Union (SACORU), the San Fernando Coca-Cola Professional, Technical, Clerical and Supervisory Union and the Coca-Cola Sale Force Union (CCSU) picketed the Coca-Cola bottling plant in San Fernando held a protest picket outside the plant. This is the first in a series of protest actions against management attempts to impose the P3 scheme, stripping unions of wage bargaining rights and undermining job security.