Published: 08/03/2013

The Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers (STIBYS) greets our fellow workers and unionists of STECSA and FESTRAS and salutes them for their achievement in successfully forming the Union of Workers of Alimentos y Bebidas Atlántida SA (SITRAABASA).

We are confident that with the solidarity of the IUF and the Latin American Federation of Coca-Cola Workers (FELATRAC) you will move forward and strengthen your union.

For our part, we continue in our efforts to sign the new collective bargaining agreement, after two years of negotiations with CABCORP (PepsiCO). The leading obstacles are the failure to reach an agreement on the employment of temporary and outsourced workers and the company’s training of “personnel in positions of trust” selected among workers in the PET bottling production area.

SABMiller, which also  bottles Coca-Cola products, is in breach of the collective agreement we signed in January of last year, and we are preparing to bring the necessary actions.

The regime currently in force in Honduras, where we live under what the United Nations has termed a “degraded State,” not only continues to join forces with the oligarchy to attack life, trample human rights and criminalize protests and demands for social, economic and political rights, it is also handing the country and its natural resources over to multinational corporations, bit by bit.

The lives of many people are in danger here and the regime threatens the survival of our popular organizations and their coordinated action, built over so many years of hard struggle.

The current Honduran regime passed a temporary employment law that was supposed to be a provisional measure and which it now seeks to extend or give permanent status to. We are waging a campaign against these efforts, both before the ILO, where we have the support of the IUF, and before the Supreme Court of Justice, where we will file an action challenging the law’s constitutionality.

A similar law is being prepared in Guatemala, with the assistance of Honduras. More than 200,000 jobs are claimed to have been generated in the country, which is a completely false claim as such an increase would have required investing more than what has been invested in maquilas. No such investments have been made, neither by Congress nor by private industry. What they have done is replace permanent workers with temporary workers, thus swelling the ranks of outsourced workers.

We understand that all of this is part of the class struggle and that as long as we live under an exploitative capitalist system we must continue to push ahead, confronting and negotiating.

Receive, then, our solidarity and warmest congratulations for this historical victory of STECSA and FESTRAS, which is part of that struggle.

Carlos H. Reyes

In Guatemala, Carlos H. Reyes