France: FGA-CFDT condemns Coca-Cola for jobs losses - classic "social dumping"

Coca-Cola European Partners has publicly announced a social plan cutting 252 positions (10% of payroll) on 7 sites including 5 factories where 2,600 people are employed by the company: Socx, Clamart, Grigny, Castanet-Tolosan and Les Pennes Mirabeau, the head office and the technical service.

Despite posting good results and claiming that it is counting on strong growth the company claims "competiveness" as the justification for these job cuts.  Coca-Cola European Partners' employees have faced successive jobs cut in the name of "competitiveness" for more than four years. And yet a report using figures provided by management demonstrates that in 2015 and 2016, Coca-Cola had a record operating margin of 14%.

Coca-Cola has confirmed a growth plan that would see turnover increase from 1.8 billion in 2016 to 2 billion in 2020. Against that background eliminating positions will necessarily mean an increase for the workload of remaining employees and a downgrading of working conditions.

The financial services of the French headquarters were relocated to Bulgaria four years ago in a "shared center" that the company has created.

IUF-affiliated FGA-CFDT considers these moves by the company simply as "social dumping". Over the past ten years or more the FGA-CFDT has proposed that they and the company negotiate an agreement for Skills Enhancement linked to employment. The company has consistently shown no willingness to negotiate. Coca-Cola would have done better in entering into those discussions in order to better anticipate changes with the aim of maintaining jobs rather than simply destroying them through job cuts that they can scarcely justify.

The FGA-CFDT and the IUF call on The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola European Partners to fully meet the international obligations they would claim to be compliant with by offering a viable and sustainable outcome for all employees involved at these sites.