Ireland: Under serious intimidation anonymous SIPTU members show solidarity to the "Zero Rights" campaign by hiding themselves


The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) had earlier closed its directly owned, strongly unionized concentrate plant (where the "secret formula" syrup is manufactured) in Drogheda and recently it announced the closure of the last remaining unionized plant in Athy. Despite union membership growing beyond 50% of the union's potential members in the remaining concentrate plant in Ballina plant the Company simply refuses to recognize the union.

TCCC's local management is also engaging in intimidation and harassment of workers it suspects support the union. Management sends a clear message throughout the plant that workers risk personal setbacks if they join or promote SIPTU (for example personal performance ratings are apparently quickly affected negatively that in turn affects income).

The IUF-affiliated SIPTU understandably remains unwilling to provide specific members' names as a result of the ongoing fear of recrimination against individuals. For the same reason SIPTU members at Ballina expressed their support for other ongoing rights struggles within the Coca-Cola system but could do so with only hands showing and without anything in solidarity photos that might identify them. That in itself is a powerful testimony to the reality of the Coca-Cola Company's human rights policies in practice at Ballina.

This is not bottler, this is the Company itself and the IUF expects immediate remedial action from Atlanta and clear instructions to local management about their absolute obligation to respect the rights of those workers including an instruction that they are to do nothing to impede workers access to their union and bargaining rights.