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Hong Kong Coca-Cola Affiliate Wins Permanent Status for Workers Posted to the IUF website 13-Jul-2005 Share this article.
The IUF-affiliated Swire Beverages (Hong Kong) Employees General Union, representing 350 workers at Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong (SCCHK), recently won permanent status for 130 casual workers.
After 5 years of fighting against casualisation and demanding the regularisation of casual workers, the union campaign gained strength last year. Over a six-month period the union organised a series of meetings and a petition, collecting the signatures of over 90% of the 400 non-permanent workers employed at the SCCHK plant in Shatin district. Approximately half of the 600 workers employed in production alone are non-permanent. A key part of the union's strategy has been to organise non-permanent workers, representing them as dues-paying union members in negotiations with management.
In the lead-up to annual wage negotiations for 2005, the union organised a membership meeting outside the plant to demonstrate its commitment to reverse casualisation, then filed a formal complaint to the Human Resources Department of SCCHK, together with the petition. The management responded with a commitment to regularise all casual workers in the plant, starting with 130 workers who immediately secured regular status. One of the leaders of the casual workers' organising drive, himself employed on a casual basis and denied regular status for over 4 years, is now a member of the union executive committee and will lead the fight for regularisation of all casual workers.