Poland: Coca-Cola factory in Lodz closes

January 25, Solidarnosc representatives signed an agreement with Coca-Cola Hellenic Polska about conditions of compensation for workers to be dismissed as a consequence of the plant closure in Lodz. Depending on seniority, workers will get between 3 and 10 monthly salaries of compensation plus a number of social benefits.

Protests in Lodz, Warsaw, and Gdynia had brought the company to an increased offer. Still, workers remained angry and disappointed about the sudden decision to close the plant which had come right after the Christmas holidays and was forced through within the strict time frame of only 20 days provided by the employer-friendly Polish legislation.

Slawomir Maciaszczyk, the plant level union chairman commented: “We have done whatever we could to save the workplaces, but the employer remained adamant to destroy this well-functioning factory and workers’ collective. We did have to sign this agreement in order to get at least some improvements. But we can only call on Coca-Cola workers in Poland and elsewhere to stay vigilant and be alerted at the slightest signs of planned job cuts, to get organized in advance and demand job security from Coke. It is a shame to see that the company is preparing to be a sponsor at an event like the EURO 2012 which should bring joy and pleasure to Poland, and at the same time destroy the jobs of 160 people!”

Solidarnosc wishes to thank everybody who supported the workers in Lodz in their struggle through messages of support which were very warmly appreciated.