Published: 03/03/2002

In an earlier story we reported on the strike threat at the Bebidas y Alimentos de Urabá franchised Carepa Coke bottling plant in the province of Urabá, Colombia.

Now the plant’s management, apparently after consultation with Coca-Cola representatives in the United States, has agreed to the union’s central demand that short-term contract workers become permanent.

In an important victory the union has secured full-time employment for half of the workers currently on short-term contracts, effective immediately, and an agreement that the remaining half would gain permanent status by June this year.

IUF General Secretary, Ron Oswald, congratulated the workers and their union SICO at Carepa, “The global increase in the use of short-term employment contracts where workers have no security or basic rights is part of the unacceptable face of globalization and de-regulation. It is heartening to our members throughout the Coca Cola system and to our wider membership to see that even a relatively small group of our members can successfully negotiate an end to this practice in their workplace. Their victory is particularly important given the dangerous and difficult circumstances in which they carry out their trade union activities in Colombia.”

We will be reporting the detailed nature of the agreement that ended this conflict in the near future.