Guatemala: Workers occupy the distribution center following illegal dismissals by Coca-Cola FEMSA

The Central Bottling Company S.A. (EMBOCEN), the subsidiary of Coca Cola FEMSA in Guatemala, unilaterally decided to close the Jalapa distribution center, outsource the distribution of Coca-Cola products under a presales model and dismiss all workers on October 3, 2016.

Following the dismissals, the Labour Ministry authorities inspected the center, noted the illegalities and violations committed and issued a legal warning to FEMSA ordering the employer to reinstate the dismissed workers in two hours and not to take any retaliation against them.  However FEMSA refused to comply with the provisions of the labor authorities.

The IUF affiliated  Union of Workers of Embotelladora Central S.A. (STECSA) and Union Federation of Food, Agroindustry and Related (FESTRAS) started the court procedures and both unions continue to support the workers whom peacefully occupied the premises of Jalapa distribution center to protect the assets until it is reopened.

Since August 2016, FEMSA has been putting pressure on unions to accept the implementation of the presales business model which would negatively affect the acquired rights and the salaries of sales staff.

IUF affiliates in Guatemala call on FEMSA to open a channel of dialogue to seek a negotiated solution to this conflict.