Coke union in Philippines to strike

The Bacolod Sales Force Employees Union filed a notice of strike before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board in Bacolod City when no settlement was reached on their collective bargaining agreement with Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Cyrus Javelosa, its president, said on Friday June 15.

Javelosa, at a press conference in Bacolod City, said that no agreement was made between them and the management in Bacolod City because the company is pushing for the individual performance evaluation scheme for wage increases in their CBA, which they are opposing.

The evaluation scheme is a threat to their security of tenure, labor rights, and other economic benefits, he said.

Maui Bandola, president of the rank-and-file workers of Coca-Cola Bacolod, said the scheme will only reduce their benefits and replace the guaranteed wage increase of the workers. Bandola said Coca-Cola is celebrating its 100 Years of Open Happiness but for them it becomes an "open misery" because of the new policy.

Danny Fuentes, national coordinator of Coca-Cola Alliance Unions, said all workers will be evaluated based on their performance, participation, and presence, which will be the basis of their wage increase. He noted that Coca-Cola is pushing for the 3Ps because it is losing.

In a statement sent to the DAILY STAR, Cat Avelino, corporate communications director of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, said that "Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines has a pay-for-performance policy in place in accordance with industry practice which is meant to motivate associates to always be the best that they can be.

Avelino said they have already ratified 31 CBAs that include the performance-based wage increase where workers were quite happy with the packages they received.

Mel Segovia, union president of Coca-Cola Tagbiliaran, said their union already signed the CBA on Nov. 24, 2011, but it states that 3Ps will only apply on the third year, so the scheme is not yet fully implemented.He said their jobs and the relationship of the workers and the management have been smooth sailing but their performance this year will be the basis of the 3Ps that will be implemented next year.

It's obvious that Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines management announces the success of 3Ps before it's fully implemented and any consequences were experienced by workers in order to undermine the fight of unions and workers who resist the implementation.

ACCUP's open misery campaign calls on the Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines to negotiate the wage increases across the board whereas management tries to replace wage bargaining with performance policy.

The IUF wishes success to the union on its strike which will strengthen the campaign and set a barrier to the pay-for-performance policy of Coca-Cola.



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