Hong Kong union solidarity with striking Coca-Cola workers on the mainland

The IUF-affiliated Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) held a demonstration on December 2 outside Coca-Cola’s Hong Kong head office in solidarity with striking workers on the mainland.

Workers at three mainland Coca-Cola facilities demanded the company ensure their seniority and employment conditions following the November announcement by the Coca-Cola Company that it would be refranchising the bottling plants to COFCO Corporation and Swire Beverage Holdings Ltd.

When they received no response from management, workers took strike action on November 21. Police appeared almost immediately at the Chonqing plant to stop the strike, arresting 7 workers. Reports indicate that the strike may be continuing in Chengdu. Workers fear a repetition of what happened in March this year when COFCO acquired ownership of Le-Conte Chocolate, after which most production plants were closed and many workers were laid off and replaced by new workers under inferior terms.

The HKCTU presented a letter to Coca-Cola management urging the company to stop repression and to engage in good faith negotiations with the workers.