Shop stewards at Coca-Colas "Freš-Nezavisnost" in Serbia discuss employment guarantees

freshandco meeting 1In July, shop stewards at the Fresh&co Juice producing plant, which belongs to one of the biggest Coca-Cola bottlers, CC Hellenic, discussed possible steps in order to avoid further job destruction at the plant. The meeting was attended by the IUF's regional Coca-Cola coordinator, Ildiko Kren. The main subject of the discussion was the current situation at Fresh&Co. The employer trying to reduce the number of employees significantly through the voluntary termination of the employment relations. In order to reduce the number of regular workers, the employer is even ready to pay redundancy packages 50% higher than foreseen by the CBA. At the same time, it is clear that the company increases the use of casual work (agency workers, so-called "self-employed" fake entrepreneurs,workers, etc.) The Union considers this employer's action to be inappropriate, in the last two year, the number of employees has already been drastically reduced. This has led to greatly increased workloads resulting in a lot of stressful situations for the remaining workers. The meeting discussed a flexible further strategy which will depend on future steps of the employer, and is based on the firm positon that there is a limit, below which it is intolerable to go. Members expressed their full support for this. Based on the successful work of the previous years, when the union built a very thorough communication structure in the plant, which allows it to keep constantly in contact with members in all departments, shop steward expressed their that the company would have to agree to their demands. Workers also expressed satisfaction with the formation of the Global Coca-Cola Unions Alliance at the recent Global Coca-Cola Workers conference, which was attended by a delegate from Fresh&Co.freshandco meeting2