Coca-Cola union in Bolivia joins the IUF

Bolivian bottling Unidas SA (Embol), which owns the franchise of Coca Cola in Bolivia, has four plants in the districts of La Paz, Cochabamba, Tarija and Santa Cruz. During the 5th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the IUF Latin American Federation of Coca Cola (FELATRAC), which took place in Santo Domingo, the Union of Santa Cruz Embol officially decided to join the IUF and FELATRAC.

Currently, almost 50 percent of workers in the Santa Cruz plant are unionized. They have been putting pressure on their union officers to further strengthen the organization and its international ties.

"In recent years we have come a long way, both strengthening our organization and in the defense of labor and union rights. We have been reducing the number of contract workers, with the company agreeing to an annual quota of workers who become directly engaged, "said Roberto Baigorria, Secretary General of the Union of Embol Santa Cruz.

The union leader said that they have also managed to improve labor-management relations and wage conditions, positioning itself as a Union committed to defending the rights of their members. "Last April 30 our collective bargaining negotiation process has commenced. We already presented the list of demands and when I return to Bolivia negotiations will start. We are confident that we will have a new agreement soon, "he added Baigorria.

In addition to ratifying the will to gradually reduce outsourcing in the plant, the secretary general of the Union of Embol Santa Cruz said they are asking to extend the production bonus to all areas and negotiate a salary increase that fits the reality of country.

"In Bolivia, the government sets an annual percentage of salary increase that will be the basis for negotiations in the private sector. We always managed to negotiate with the company a percentage that is double or more than the minimum established, and we hope to do the same this time, "Baigorria said.
"For me and my colleagues I am proud to say that we're members and are part of the family of the IUF and FELATRAC. No doubt that this decision we will be a strategic tool for the defense of labor and union rights of workers in Coca Cola, "said Roberto Baigorria.

The union leader also reported that soon a high-level delegation of the IUF Latin America and FELATRAC will travel to Santa Cruz to formalize the affiliation and share this moment with the workers of this plant Embol (Coca Cola).

"I'm very happy. This decision commits me even more to my union work and deepens our struggle for the welfare of workers, "concluded Baigorria.

Interview of IUF Latin America region with Roberto Baigorria.

The original Spanish news is here.