The CBC Peruana Company bottles soft drinks and energy drinks of PepsiCo and is a strategic partner of AB InBev. Since the negotiation of a new set of claims has begun this year, workers have reported a series of irregularities in the conduct of the company. The IUF Latin America region has discussed this issue with Cristian Pari, general secretary of the CBC Manufacturas Workers Union.
-When did they become CBC?
-“In 2015 CBC Peruana acquired the AmBev plant in Sullana and in 2018 it acquired AmBev Manufacturas, a factory located in Huachipa.
At that time our union was called the Union of Workers of AmBev Peru (SUTAMBEV) and when the sale of the company took place, SUTAMBEV and CBS Manufactura signed an act of commitment in the Ministry of Labor.
In that document, the new owner, CBS Manufactura, promised to respect all the provisions of the collective agreement including the working conditions and what had been acquired out of habit, something that Peruvian labor legislation considers as a right after being applied for two consecutive years.
We changed our name to CBC Manufacturas Workers Union and that year we negotiated a new agreement that improved the benefits obtained in the previous one.
Later there were complications with the interpretation of some clauses, but through dialogue these complications were solved.
However, last year the company unified its Sullana and Huachipa operations, renamed CBC Peruana, and that is when the relationship with the company became strained.”
-What are the issues complicating the relationship?
-“This year we began the negotiations for a new collective agreement. The company intends to sign an agreement valid for two years without offering any type of economic or social increase for the first year, and wants to make reduced salary increases the second year.
In addition to this position, there are a series of situations of harassment towards workers by new middle managers. There is also a change of clauses of the existing collective agreement, change of weekly rest days, and abuse of authority, among other irregularities.
Taking into account that we are in full collective bargaining, we cannot understand what the CBC’s policy is with these practices that affect the workers and their families.
All changes must be communicated by posting them on the billboard.
Pandemic as an excuse in a growing sector
The company’s proposal is far from what the union asked for pertaining to the agreement.
The company argues that it cannot give us a salary increase due to the pandemic crisis, but this is one of the few sectors that was not affected by this health crisis.
This company has also been a beneficiary of a bonus that the government gave of 10 million soles (almost 3 million dollars) and also receives the subsidy given to all workers who earn up to 1,500 soles (420 dollars), almost 60 percent of the workforce. Consequently, those arguments are not valid.”
-Did CBC stop production at some point due to the pandemic?
-“No, so there is no way that they can tell workers not to attend to their jobs. CBC must respect the commitment acquired both with its workers and with the country’s legislation.
We find it incredible that this company, which is one of the signatories of the Code of Ethics, permanently violates the rights of its workers.”
Please read the original news story in Spanish here.