2000 protest planned Coca-Cola plant closures in Germany

Feb. 14, 2009, workers, the local community, and politicians protested jointly in order to save the Coca-Cola production plant in Kaiserslauntern, Germany. 

"We were expecting  about 1000 people, but nobody figured there would be 2000 people turning out in solidarity with the Coca-Cola workers in Kaiserslautern, said Holger Winkow, regional representative of IUF affiliate NGG representing the workers at the protest meeting. 

protest action

Together with NGG, the regional DGB (trade union confederation and IG Metall (metal workers union) had called for the meeting: „Many colleagues have joint from Opel, Pfaff and auto industry supplier Keiper. We are all united by the desire to see all the Pfalz region stand up against the destruction of employment" said Winkow.

NGG chairman Franz-Josef Möllenberg pointed out, that  ever higher profits must not be the sole motivation for thoughts and action of management".

Special attention received numerous delegations from other Coca-Cola locations and the solidarity message from the co-workers at the plant in Münster which equally is threatened with closure. 

General Works Council chairman Johan Botella announced "restistance at all Coca-Cola locations". 

In Münster, the Coca-Cola workers interrupted an extraordinary employees meeting, moving outside the factory gates and voicing their protest against closure April 1 loudly. 

They had been informed by management about the plan only one day before that. Mohamed Boudih, acting trade union representative in the Münsterland region, commented: "The last word is not spoken here yet. The collective agreement stipulates that there should be a arbitration with several steps, and only after that we will possibly have negotiations on reconcilement of interests. 

In Bendorf near Koblenz there are also considerations to shut down production. In the evening of February 13, NGG and works council had called for a demonstration in front of the plant under the slogan "120 lights for Bendorf", that was joined by many members of the local community

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