Germany: NGG and CCEAG facing industrial dispute?

„CCEAG has forfeited their second before last chance to a peaceful solution“ – said Claus-Harald Guester, vice president of German IUF-affiliate NGG and lead negotiator during talks with CCEAG, the German Coca-Cola bottler, after the seventh round of negotiations on employment security at Coca-Cola Germany.

Trade union and employer are in negotiations concerning the extension of a collective bargaining agreement on employment security that had been won in 2006, shortly before the Coca-Cola sponsored Soccer World Cup in the country. The agreement providces employment guarantees for all CCEAG employees.

During this years negotiations the employer seems to have turned a deaf ear to the fair demands of the union to secure decent and regular work places at Coca-Cola in Germany. After seven rounds of talks there is still no proposals from management.
Instead, they seem to plan for a horror programme – closing four production and 20 distribution locations, extending working hours, increased use of agency workers, and outsourcing of distribution activities.

The Union hereupon declared „We are ready to take any necessary action! If the board believes we will sign an agreement allowing for production and distribution location closures, they are deeply mistaken. We have made far-reaching proposals. We are interested in the company’s well-being. We’ll not be lead like a lamb to slaugher! They will get to feel our resistance!

A last round of negotiations at the end of March offers a last chance to come to a peaceful settlement. After this the non-strike clause expires, and the union’s activists are preparing the workforce for a tough dispute.

NGG and IUF are keeping close contact in order to smoothly cooperate should conflict become unavoidable. The issue will be a major subject for discussion at the next IUF affiliates/Coca-Cola meeting in Atlanta, March 24, 2010.

Johan Botella, Chairman of the General Works Council of CCEAG and member of the Coca-Cola Alliance Steering Committee said “Coca-Cola is an international company, our parent company is located in Atlanta. We know that we can count on the solidarity of our fellow trade unionists worldwide. Because the destruction of regular job is a joint issue for all of us.”

We will keep the members of the Alliance regularly updated about the further development.

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