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Coca-Cola Korea unions win regular status for casual workers

Posted to the IUF website 01-Dec-2004

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In collective bargaining negotiations with the Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Company (CCKBC-a unit of Coca-Cola Amatil) concluded in July 2004, the CCKBC Labour Union won permanent employment for casual workers as part of a broader union struggle against casualization.

Jun Guy Kang, President of the CCKBC Labour Union, an affiliate of KCTU’s Korean Chemical and Textile Workers’ Federation (KCTF), reports that all KCTU affiliates have now included in their collective bargaining proposals the “regularization” of all irregular workers at their workplaces (i.e. securing permanent status for irregular workers, including casual and subcontracted workers).

In a Side Agreement to the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed on 20 July 2004, the clause on ‘Non-regular workers’ reads in part:

“The Company should make the best efforts to directly hire and regularize its non-regular employees on a step-by-step basis."

The CCKBC Labour Union thereby won permanent status for 55 subcontracted workers employed by CCKBC, with 12 workers gaining immediate regular status in July at the conclusion of the agreement, and another 43 workers securing regular status in September 2004.

As a result, the Coca-Cola union at Kwangju City was able to conclude a similar CBA, and decided to affiliate to the KCTU-KCTF federation.

This move has now consolidated all 3 Coca-Cola unions in Korea under one federation and one CBA, and sets the stage for the ongoing fight to eliminate irregular work and win permanent employment for casual/subcontracted workers.

In November 2004, the IUF-affiliated CMU in Sri Lanka signed a new CBA with Coca-Cola Beverages at the Biyagama soft drinks plant securing the right to permanent employment status for all casual employees over the next two years.