New union organized at Coca-Cola Gujranwala bottling plant in Pakistan

On 23 April, over 250 workers participated in the first general assembly of the newly formed Coca-Cola Pakistan Beverages Ltd (CCBPL) Gujranwala Workers' Union.

The Coca-Cola workers in Gujranwala, in the north east of Punjab Province in Pakistan, began organising the union last year with the support of the IUF-affiliated National Federation of Food, Beverage & Tobacco Workers (FFBTW) and IUF Pakistan.

The CCBPL Gujranwala Workers’ Union, which was was formally registered on 20 March 2010, is a major breakthrough for Coca-Cola workers in Pakistan. Eight years earlier union organizing at the Gujranwala plant was suppressed by management and the union leaders terminated. At the meeting on 23 April the workers could finally declare victory in struggle for their rights after 8 years.

Now four Coca-Cola unions are members of the IUF-affiliated FFBTW: the Coca Cola Beverages Staff and Workers' Union, Karachi; the Coca Cola Beverages Employees' Union, Rahim Yar Khan; the People's Employees' Union Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan (CCBPL) Ltd Multan; and the CCBPL Gujranwala Workers' Union.

The CCBPL Gujranwala Workers' Union is now preparing to submit its charter of demands (collective bargaining agreement proposal) to the CCBPL Gujranwala management.

The elected officers of the union are: Aamir Rasheed Butt, President; Raja Ghulam Mustaf, General Secretary; Rana Nadeem, Senior Vice President; Arshad Ali, Vice President; Manzoor Ahmed, Finance Secretary; Abdul Wahid and Muhammad Aslam, Managing Committee.