IUF | Coca-Cola Workers Network | Monthly : March 2005

NEW STANDBY IN PERUVIAN CONFLICT

In Peru, when the company became a part of the Lindley Group (manufacturer of Inka Cola), one of the first steps of the new management was the collective dismissal of several workers. Earlier, a similar action by Inka Cola had weakened the union.

According to Peruvian Law, in case of collective dismissals, the company must submit economic reports to evidence the need to take such step. Actually, these reports have repeatedly showed that the real problem is inefficiency and excessive expenditure in advertising rather than real economic difficulties.

However, management keeps trying to transfer inefficiency costs to workers in spite of court rulings against dismissals.

In September, 2004, Coca Cola workers in Peru began a strike, they were attacked by police officers in a police operation absolutely against the pacific character of the union action, while security guards would seize the opportunity to take away union activists’ flags and banners.

The strike action was lifted in the hope that the steps of the Ministry of Labor would be fruitful and negotiations resumed. However, time went by and the company management goes on ignoring all the rulings against the dismissals.

In the face of this situation, SINATREL has submitted, once again, a request to begin a new strike, which was decided by the absolute majority of permanent blue-collar workers of the company. Such strike was supposed to begin on the 16 March, 7 am.

A new delay in this process has come up. There has been an interim court decision in a court action brought by the company, which means a standby until mid April.

There is still hope that the company will comply with the legal framework in force and thus prevent unnecessary conflict.

HIV/AIDS Issue at IUF/Coke Meeting

The agenda of the IUF/Coca-Cola meeting on 15 March included an update and discussion on the company's HIV/AIDS Programmes in Africa.

Two items are worth commenting. The spokesperson for the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation noted that the "take-up rate" for Coke's programmes in Africa was lower than expected. Apparently some HIV-positive Coke employees are still afraid of losing their jobs if they acknowledge their disease. The IUF pointed out that if IUF affiliates representing Coke workers in Africa participated more fully in the implementation of these programmes, these fears could be eliminated.

Second, it was announced that Coca-Cola is developing a global policy regarding infectious diseases and its workforce, and is planning to expand its involvement with HIV/AIDS programmes into other regions, possibily including India and Russia.

This could provide opportunities for involvement by Coke affiliates in such programmes as they expand to other regions.

For more information on Coke's AIDS initiatives, you can visit its website

Romania - CBA negotiations started. Union successfully demanded information

The Free Trade Union of Coca-Cola Workers in Romania started negotiations on the renewal of its CBA in February. Initial problems with receiving necessary information from the company were solved, the next round of bargaining is scheduled for this week.
The IUF will closely monitor the bargaining process.

CocaCola Saint Petersburg: Iuf Regional Conference Resolution

The IUF Regional Conference of member organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia on March 1 adopted a resolution calling on Coca-Cola management to stop harassing the union and return to normal labour relations at its plant in Saint Petersburg:
Download file

To see a list of union's rights violations at the Saint Petersburg plant:
Download file

Coke Code of Business Conduct

The agenda for the IUF/Coca-Cola Meeting of 15 March includes the objection raised by several European unions to signing Coca-Cola's Code of Business Conduct, which is a unilateral company document that conveys additional responsibilities on employees with no additional rights.

Code of Business Conduct Procedural Guidelines (Download)

Water Issue in India

Issues relating to water usage and environmental concerns involving Coca-Cola bottlers in India are on the agenda for the March 15 meeting between the IUF and Coca-Cola.

Background documents can be found here:

Information from IUF South Asia Office (Download file)

Coca-Cola Company position (Download file)

Coca-Cola/NUSSL* Dialogue on Water Issues in India (Download file)

*(NUSSL is a purchasing agent for the National Union of Students-UK. Its Ethical and Environmental Committee is responsible for monitoring the conduct of major suppliers to universities).

Agenda for IUF Meeting with Coca-Cola

A draft agenda (Download file) has been sent to The Coca-Cola Company for the meeting with the IUF "Team" headed by General Secretary Ron Oswald on 15 March.

Background documents related to the items on this agenda dealing with trade union rights can be downloaded from this site below.

Issues relating to water use in India are posted separately.

2. Union Rights Issues:

Russia
IUF Regional Conference Resolution (Download file)

List of Violations at St. Petersburg Coke bottler (Download file)

Pakistan
(Download file)

Peru (Download file)

Colombia
IUF Briefing(Download file)
Dialogue between National Union of Students (UK) and Coca-Cola(Download file)

Coca Cola SABCO Annual Shopstewards meeting

The annual shopstewards meeting of SABCO Coca Cola in South Africa was held on 4th February 2005 in Bloemfontein. They reviewed the last annual negotiation and the process of the collective agreement to recognise Fawu which is now eight years on the negotiation table.The shopstewards resolved that should this agreement not be finalised in due course they will call for international support to put pressure on the company(SABCO).

The IUF regional office is following developments on this matter.