Hong Kong: Coca-Cola workers fighting for democracy and collective bargaining at their workplace

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) organized an annual rally and march on December 7, 2014 to call for the right to collective bargaining and to demand 7% pay rise. The march went past the headquarters of a number of big corporations such as Swire (Coca-Cola's bottler in Hong Kong), Cheung Kong and the government headquarters. Protesters wrote their demands on yellow ribbons and tied them to the gates of government headquarters.

During the rally, representatives of Swire Beverages (Coca-Cola) Union and DragonAir Flight Attendant Association shared the progress they had made in negotiation with employers in improving working conditions. The IUF-affiliated Swire Beverages union has recently signed a collective agreement with Coca-Cola's bottler for an employer and employee negotiating framework.

An IUF team of affiliates from around the world has been raising union recognition and collective bargaining issues in Swire Beverages with corporate Coca-Cola management in its twice-yearly meetings with the company in Atlanta. Consistent support for our members' rights through this "Atlanta process" has helped to lay the foundations for respect for union rights locally in Hong Kong.

The Swire Beverages (Coca-Cola) union, affiliated with the IUF and HKCTU - the only independent trade union centre in China - was the first union to strike in support of the democracy movement in Hong Kong earlier this year.