Brazil: Court verdict in favor of dismissed Coca-Cola distribution workers

In late February 2015, more than 200 workers employed in the distribution of Sorocaba Refreshments, which produces and markets Coca Cola products, were fired during the Carnival holidays. The company sent a notification to the workers while transferring the entire fleet of trucks to a nearby town to outsource the service.

Workers,who are members of the Transport Workers Union and the Food Industries Union of Sorocaba Region, began a series of demonstrations to reverse the unfair dismissals and outsourcing of the distribution.

The unions made a complaint in the labour court and the court instructed Coca Cola to reinstate all the dismissed workers based on the jurisprudence of the Superior Labor Court (TST), the highest authority in labor law. The verdict states that in cases where there are compulsory layoffs, there should be negotiations with the unions prior to the execution of dismissals which in this case there was none.

Paulo João Estausia, president of the Transport Workers Union told the IUF Latin America region that workers are very pleased with the court's decision but will remain camped outside the Sorocaba Refreshments plant until you the court order is executed in a week.

"The judge declared the unfair dismissals invalid and ordered the reinstatement of all workers - Truck drivers and their assistants in distribution -and at the end of 10 working days from the date of the judgment, the company will pay daily fine of 20,000reais (approximately $ 6,100) per worker who is not reinstated "held Estausia.

"We know that the company can appeal, but we have the best prospects since the final decision is in the orbit of the TST and the first pro-worker ruling was based on the jurisprudence of the High Court, which leads us to believe that the sentence will be ratified, "he said.

Finally, Estausia thanked the support of the IUF Latin America region and the Latin American Federation of Coca Cola workers (FELATRAC).

Original Spanish news is here.