Atlanta: November 1st IUF/TCCC meeting addresses outstanding issues notably in the Philippines and Guatemala

At the most recent bi-annual meetings between IUF and TCCC in Atlanta, the IUF delegation called for further concrete results from the now well-established Atlanta process. The IUF stressed that without concrete and positive outcomes for Coca-Cola workers the process will become meaningless.

In Guatemala in June 2012 TCCC purchased the bottling business previously owned by the Schutt family allowing it to respond to serious concerns expressed by the IUF about labour rights violations.  The IUF had called on TCCC to take significant action to redress these abuses and welcomed the purchase of the business by the company as a step towards doing so. An initial meeting with unions in Guatemala is now planned for November 19.

The IUF launched a public campaign on the 22nd of October asking activists to support and help Coca-Cola workers in the Philippines defend their wage bargaining rights and fight for job and union security. TCCC received more than 7,000 messages calling on them to stop abuses of our members' rights.  

In Morocco after the IUF Secretariat informed TCCC about the details of 5 serious injuries and a fatal accident that took place at Cobomi bottling plant located in Tit Mellil district of Casablanca between May and July 2012, the IUF and TCCC organized a fact finding mission in Morocco to hold joint meetings among the IUF, UMT union officers, TCCC and the North Africa Bottling Company's (NABC) local management. In addition to the failure of health and safety measures and gaps remaining in safety system implementation, the IUF alleges serious violations of workers' freedom of association. As a result of these meetings a series of actions were agreed both on health and safety issues and basic rights issues.

10 contract workers at the concentrate plant in Piranghut, Pune, India have been demanding permanent employment and recognition that TCCC has responsibility for their employment, training and rights. A draft agreement to be signed by the union and their pseudo-employer Reliable Industrial Services (RIS) and witnessed by Coca-Cola India offers the possibility of direct, permanent employment with CC India based on a number of conditions related to formal qualifications and training. The IUF stressed that this permanent employment option needs far stronger guarantees form TCCC and ongoing discussions locally will seek to build on the November 1 discussion to secure those guarantees.

The IUF-affiliated Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial & General Workers' Union (CMU) represents members in Coca-Cola Sri Lanka in both the manual and clerical worker categories. Amendments made unilaterally by management in the 2010 manual workers agreement substantially changes the disputes procedure to restrict the role of the union and impose conditions that were never agreed. In the meeting the IUF pointed out this act of bad faith by management and the implicit threat to union recognition that arises from it. TCCC took note of this and agreed to contact their bottler SABCO who runs the Sri Lanka operations immediately.

In Japan UA Zensen requested greater support to the bottlers lest there be further lowering of the working conditions of the workers and job losses arising from the profit unfair distribution of profit rates between CCJC and the bottlers. TCCC agreed to communicate the concerns of UA Zensen to CCJC and the bottlers.

The discussion on European operations focused on the risks of de-motivated, insecure, confused and demoralized work force that has no clear idea about their future because of rumors about CCE plans for the region. Rumours and press speculation abound about restructuring of CCH operations and the Spanish and German bottlers. The IUF pointed to an urgent need to clearly discuss future Coca-Cola system strategy to European unions.

In the USA the IUF leadership and the Teamsters raised issues around CCR's use of anti-union "consultants" during Teamster organizing campaigns most recently in Fort Worth Texas and concerns about a coincidental "de-certification" (de-recognition of the union) campaign in Atlanta . RWDSU/UFCW stressed their concerns about the company's distribution model and a possible growth of outsourcing with consequent threats to good stable union jobs.

The IUF presented the early results of its "Route to Market" survey showing continued significant trends away from direct involvement by the company and its bottlers and subsequent threats to IUF members. CCR continued to claim that the examples of distribution to customer's own distribution centers or customers' distribution to their own stores in the US still remain experimental.

The IUF proposed to formally starting discussions for an international framework agreement and there will be early initial discussions around that proposal.

The next IUF/TCCC "Atlanta meeting" is scheduled for April 2013 at the Atlanta Coca-Cola headquarters.

Choose your language: