Dominican Republic: SINATRABEDSA demands reinstatement of dismissed workers at Coca-Cola

On 3 December, the IUF affiliated National Union of Workers in Dominican Bepensa SA (Coca-Cola SINATRABEDSA) expressed its reaction to the unfair dismissal of its two members working in the distribution center of Coca Cola in Barahona, southwest of the country.

Rafael Vega, newly elected general secretary of SINATRABEDSA, told that the unilateral cancellation of the contracts of Rudy Pérez and José Julián Trinidad , the first union delegates in Barahona , was due to their participation in union activities and claiming their labor rights.

"The company required them to take up two shifts: working in first shift from 6.30am until 2pm, and coming back to work at 4pm and finish at 1am in the second shift. However, they were never paid overtime and when they started to protest, they were immediately dismissed, "Vega said.

According to Nile Montero, director of SINATRABEDSA, management refused to pay more than 80 hours of overtime of workers.  Union representatives immediately mobilized in Barahona and met with Leonardo Marmolejos, the supervisor, who was very disrespectful and arrogant from the start.

The commission found many irregularities, such as the presence of a single and damaged truck, workers being forced to manually download the truck without even time for lunch, "he said.

According to the statements of Rafael Vega, supervisor Marmolejos Leonardo went further and visited Rudy Perez's house and threatened him.

Demonstrations

"We met with the employer to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict and asked for the cancellation of supervisor Marmolejos's contract, but had no satisfactory result in the negotiations. Union had no choice but to start to mobilize, "said Vega.

On Monday December 2, dozens of workers gathered outside the central Dominican Bepensa SA plant in Santo Domingo , demanding the immediate reinstatement of two workers and the cancellation of Leonardo Marmolejos's contract.

"We will continue to mobilize to achieve our goals, because we cannot accept that Coca-Cola in Barahona continues violating the labor rights of our members in the distribution center" concluded Montero.

Click here for the Spanish article at IUF's Latin America regional web-site.

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