Background of restructring and factory closures at Coca-Cola Spain
On December 2013, management at Coca-Cola Iberian Partners (CCIP) informed Spanish trade unions of a new restructuring plan that affected nearly 1,200 employees and resulted in the closure of 4 of the 11 Coca-Cola plants in Spain.
On June 12 2014, the Spanish National Court declared that Coca-Cola Iberian Partners' (CCIP) restructuring plans were invalid. CCIP appealed the Ruling of the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) to the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo). At the same time, IUF/EFFAT affiliates organized at CCIP factories; FITAG-UGT and FEAGRA- CCOO called for the provisional execution of the ruling and asked for the reinstatement of the dismissed workers.
On 20 November 2014, the Audiencia Nacional decided in favour of the provisional execution of the ruling, obliging the Spanish bottler to execute the judgement; this same court decided to cancel the ERE (Expediente de Regulacion de Empleo) - Forced Labour Adjustment Plan - in June 2014. Despite the pending appeal before the Supreme Court, the company had to either reinstate the 351 workers who asked for the provisional execution, or pay them their wages even if they were not reinstated in their workplace. CCIP chose the first option and offered to relocate the 351 workers to one of the factories currently operating in Spain. Only 71 workers accepted the proposal made by CCIP. 41 were reinstated in the same workplace where they were employed before the ERE and the other 30 accepted to be transferred to other plants. A large majority did not accept this offer as it is represents a clear violation of the ruling issued by the Audiencia Nacional that foresees the reinstatement of the affected workers in their previous workplace, including the closed plants. On 15 January 2015 the Audiencia Nacional declared the decision taken by CCIP invalid and has ordered the payment of salaries from 12 June 2014 also to the workers that did not accept transfer to another plant. Many other dismissed workers have now asked for the provisional execution of the ruling.