Coca-Cola workers union in Bolivia affiliates with the IUF

Embotelladoras Bolivianas Unidas SA (Embol), the Coca Cola franchise in Bolivia, has four plants in the districts of La Paz, Cochabamba, Tarija and Santa Cruz . Roberto Baigorria , Secretary General of the Union Embol in Santa Cruz, told the IUF Latin America region that out of nearly 900 employees, 400 are unionized and they are looking forward to the affiliation with the IUF and the Latin American Federation of Coca Cola workers(FELATRAC).

"Four years ago, my colleagues elected me as general secretary of Embol in Santa Cruz and since then I have been considering to strengthen the organization by improving international union relations and solidarity.

Fortunately, these days I was able to contact directly with the IUF Latin America region and its regional secretary, Gerardo Iglesias, and with colleagues of the Trade Union of Workers of the National Soft Drink Industry SA(SUT- INARSA) of Nicaragua," Baigorria said.

Together with Baigorria and Victor Quispe, executive secretary of the Confederation of Factory Workers of Bolivia, the IUF Latin America region held in-depth exchange of information and analysis of the main problems that each union encounters in Bolivia.

During the meeting which focused on banana, sugar and drinks sectors, Baigorria explained that outsourcing and long working hours are the most pressing problems.

"There are more than 200 contract workers out of 900 in total and for us this is a big problem that we face. The agreement allows outsourcing only to replace staff on holidays, but the company does not comply.
What we want from the company is to respect our Convention and to workers' rights, as required by the labor law, "he added. For the union, official affiliation to the IUF and FELATRAC will become a strategic tool for the defense of labor and trade union rights of workers of Coca Cola.

An interview with Roberto Baigorr. Please find the original Spanish story here