IUF | Coca-Cola Workers Network | Monthly : September 2006

SPAIN: Comisiones Obreras calls for strike at CASBEGA bottler

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EN The Spanish union Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO) representing workers at the CASBEGA bottler has called for a series of strikes to take place on September 27 and 28 and October 3, 4 and 5 to fight against management's attempt to "deregulate the Collective Agreement"...

ES La sección sindical de CC.OO. en la empresa CASBEGA ha convocado paros para los días 27 y 28 de septiembre y 3, 4 y 5 de octubre, ante la pretensión empresarial de “desregularizar el Convenio Colectivo vigente”..

FR Le syndicat espagnol Comisiones obreras (CC.OO) - représentant les travailleurs de l'embouteilleur de Coca-Cola CASBEGA - a lancé une série de grèves qui sont en train de se derouler et qui se répéterons le 3, 4 et 5 octobre prochain pour lutter contre la tentative de la gestion de "déréglementer l'accord collectif en vigueur"...

Coke aims to take control of Philippine bottler

REUTERS Mon Sep 25, 2006

MANILA, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. is set to take over management and control of the soft drinks arm of the Philippines' San Miguel Corp., though a formal deal has yet be agreed, a Coke official said on Monday.

Southeast Asia's biggest food and beverage firm wants to offload its 65 percent stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. (CCBPI), the local unit of the world's leading soft drinks firm, which has been suffering from weak sales and demand in recent years.

"There has been no change in our position to take management control and a majority stake (in CCBPI)," Jose Baylon, vice president for public affairs at The Coca-Cola Export Corp., told reporters. Coke currently owns 35 percent of CCBPI.

Coke and San Miguel opened talks on their CCBPI holdings early this year. Their five-year bottler's agreement, which covers royalty charges and bottling restrictions on Coke products, ended in July.

"Coke will always be in the Philippines. There's no thought of leaving the Philippines," Baylon said.

San Miguel officials were not immediately available to comment.

Sources in the soft drinks industry said the two parties had yet to agree on how much a deal should be worth.

San Miguel also wants Coke to remove a non-competition clause, allowing the Manila-based group to sell beverage products that compete with CCBPI's, one source said.

Analysts said Coke wants San Miguel to hold on to a minority stake in CCBPI and not sell its entire holding.

CCBPI had first-half revenue of 19 billion pesos ($377.3 million), down 4 percent from a year earlier.

San Miguel A shares (SMC.PS: Quote, Profile, Research), exclusive to local investors, closed unchanged at 65 pesos on Monday, with the unrestricted B shares also flat at 74.50 pesos. The main Manila index <.PSI> rose just 0.03 percent. ($1=50.3 pesos)

Coke, San Miguel in talks on future of Philippine bottler
Inquirer, September 26, 2006

THE Coca-Cola Co. is discussing with its Philippine joint venture partner, the beverage and food conglomerate San Miguel Corp., the future of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc., including its desire to take a majority stake and management and operational control, officials of the Atlanta-based company said.

Coca-Cola owns 35 percent the Philippine bottling unit. San Miguel owns 65 percent.

"However, as these discussions have not been fully finalized, we are not ready to comment further," officials in Atlanta said in an e-mail reply to the Inquirer.

Jose Baylon, vice president for public affairs at the local division of The Coca-Cola Export Corp., said: "Coke will always be in the Philippines. There is no thought of leaving the Philippines. There has been no change in our position to take management control and a majority stake."

Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, which includes Cosmos Bottling Corp. and Philippine Beverage Partners, accounts for 15 percent of San Miguel's total revenues and five percent of operating income.

San Miguel had sold it in the late 1990s to Australia's Coca-Cola Amatil in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. San Miguel and Coca-Cola bought it back in 2001 for $2.26 billion.

WHO objects to reference in Coca-Cola campaigns

THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS, 20 September 2006

New Delhi - Taking exception to its name being “unauthorisedly” used by Coca-Cola India in its promotional activities, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked the company to withdraw such references.

In a letter to Coca-Cola’s president and CEO Atul Singh in the first week of September, the south east Asia office of the global health agency pointed out that its name was being used for commercial purposes, which is strictly prohibited.

Coca-Cola India’s print advertisements between August 13 and 18 claimed, “Our products across the world follow a single system and undergo rigorous multiple barrier filtration process that is approved by WHO.” The company claimed that the soft drinks in the country are absolutely safe and meet the most strict safety norms.

WHO asked Coca-Cola India to “immediately” restrain itself from making any references to the organisation in any of the company’s advertisements, products, communications, business cards or any written or published material.

Confirming the receipt of letter, Coca-Cola India’s spokesperson said: “We stopped using WHO’s name in our campaigns even before WHO wrote to us.” He said the last ad appeared on August 18.

In its response to WHO’s letter, Coca-Cola India wrote back, “We believe a bona fide reference to the WHO was made not in order to promote or advertise our company or product or to make a commercial gain, but was made in reference to the multiple barrier filtration process we use to process water used in the manufacture of our beverages.”

Coca-Cola India had issued the ads to counter the allegations levelled by Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) that its soft drinks had high level of pesticide content.

In the promotion, the cola giant also said a government laboratory in the United Kingdom had tested its product against the most stringent pesticide norms used for bottled water in Europe. The Central Science Laboratories (CSL) had in its tests found the products were absolutely safe for human consumption, the company asserted in the ad.

URL: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=141037