Imminent strike in Coca-Cola Marília, São Paulo

In an assembly held on June 5, the workers of the Coca-Cola factory in the São Paulo city of Marília voted against the company’s new wage offer, in negotiations that began in March of this year. The Union demanded that the company better its offer within 72 hours or workers would stop all activities next Sunday.

In dialog with Sirel, Wilson Vidoto, president of the Union of Marília Food Industry Workers (SITAM), which represents Coca-Cola workers in the region, discussed the circumstances leading up to the conflict and the demands sought by the union in the negotiations.

“Collective bargaining in the beverage sector is conducted at the state level, except in this Coca-Cola plant. The reason for this is that up until two years ago the workers in this unit were represented by a yellow trade union, a pro-company union that negotiated clauses such as the 12x36 work system, where workers do 12-hour shifts and rest 36 hours, and have to work Sundays and holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s Day,” Vidoto explained.

Coca-Cola implemented a 12x36 work system, where workers do 12-hour shifts and rest 36 hours, and have to work Sundays and holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“Ever since it took over these workers’ representation, SITAM has been negotiating wage recovery, an improvement of benefits, and the elimination of the 12x36 system” that wears workers out, he said.

According to the union leader, Coca-Cola was included in São Paulo’s state-level wage negotiations, but the company initially offered a ridiculous low increase, which was rejected by the workers.

“We’re demanding an 11 percent wage adjustment, a 50-reais increase in the basic food basket, Christmas and New Year’s Day off, and Profit-Income Participation parity with the sector’s other companies in the state,” Vidoto underlined.

So far Coca-Cola has refused to budge from its position not to alter what it refers to as its wage policy. Faced with this situation and following the steps stipulated under Brazilian laws, SITAM called a strike, demanding that the transnational corporation better its offer within 72 hours, or it will effectively launch the strike on Sunday.

"We will be reporting on any developments as they occur, and we are confident that we have the support of FELATRAC and IUF Latin America,” the SITAM president concluded.

Interview with Wilson Vidoto
Resource:http://www.rel-uita.org/contratapa/companias/coca-cola/con-wilson-vidoto-eng.htm

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