Solidarnosc hold picket in solidarity with Coca-Cola workers in front of Warsaw's EURO 2012 stadium

On January 24, 2012, around 200 participants gathered for a picket in front of Warsaw’s „Narodowy“ stadium, among them trade unionists from Lodz and Mazowsze regions and workers from the Coca-Cola factory in Lodz which is threatened with company closure. The protesters demanded from Coca-Cola management to change the decision for closure and save jobs.

At the end of the month 165 workers would be made redundant. Negotiations between union and management are ongoing, however the company’s representatives have not shown ready to change their opinion.

The Food workers Secretariat was represented by colleagues from SPC, a brewery company, and Coca-Cola workers from Radzimyn, Gdynia and Warsaw. In the name of the Food secretariat, Arek Kozlowski denounced the politics of many big company to cut costs at the expense of workers. Other speakers called on the public to “think with every Coca-Cola bottle you buy of the workers that have been made redundant”.

Slawek Maciaszczyk, the union’s local chairman, explained that the reasons the company provided for closing the factory did not convince workers. “They say it is because of raw material and fuel prices. But sugar doesn’t get cheaper just because you transfer production. And concerning fuel – Lodz is located quite ideally for distribution matters, so it won’t save them fuel to transfer production!”

The picket was a very successful despite the bad weather.

The previous day, workers had already hold a smaller picket in Lodz, and solidarity pickets in Gdynia, and Radzimyn.

The location of the picket was not by chance. Coca-Cola is a main sponsor of the EURO 2012 soccer championship which partly will be held at the Narodowy (“People’s”) stadium. Coca-Cola also had tried to get the stadium renamed after its brand name.

Solidarnosc conveyed their thanks to all participants. While being aware that many could not come due to short notice of the picket support messages received by email were also very important.
The next round of negotiations will take place tomorrow, January 25.

 

 

 

 

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