Published: 15/07/2010

Well, not exactly Coca-Cola Pakistan, but someone who claims to be supplying workers to Coke Pakistan…

The Coca-Cola bottler in Pakistan is Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCBPL) – jointly owned by The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) in Atlanta, which sits atop the global Coca-Cola system, and Coke’s fast-growing bottler for Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia, Coca-Cola Icecek (CCI).

For years, workers employed directly by CCBPL at the company’s plant in Multan have been illegally employed – illegally, because the law states that workers employed continuously for more than 9 months should be made permanent.

The Multan workers have been struggling for over a year for recognition of their union and their rights (link). Management’s response has been dismissals, extortion, abduction and death threats. But the workers are determined to fight for their union. So management has manufactured a previously unknown labour contractor named Saeed Awan.

When the latest group of union members were dismissed, their dismissal letters were issued by ‘Muhammad Saeed Awan Labour Contractor’ – despite the fact that these workers were directly recruited by CCBPL, and had never received payment from, heard of or ever seen Saeed Awan or any representative at any time during their employment at CCBPL Multan.

A union investigation into this shadowy affair disclosed that the letters were sent, not from ‘Saeed Awan’, but from the home address of a Multan ‘gate officer’ who has stated that they were written not by him but by senior management, who ordered him to sign them.

Workers ’employed’ by a labour contractor cannot join a union of Coca-Cola workers, nor can they bargain collectively with the real employer, Coca-Cola. So there is good reason why management has now told the IUF that the workers can be reinstated – provided they formally resign from their jobs with Saeed Awan!

Not content with stripping 20 workers of their rights, the company has now declared that some 283 workers were never employed by CCBPL, but work for the shadowy labour contractor, of whom there is not a single legal trace!

To ‘document’ this wholesale attack on trade union rights, the company has been requiring workers to turn in the social security cards which document their employment status – and returning them with ‘Saeed Awan, labour contractor’ crudely entered on the cards as the workers’ employer.

CCBPL is Coca-Cola’s fastest growing bottler – and is planning to expand operations in Pakistan (though they may have run into a slight financial snag, since they’ve apparently walked away from a USD 60 million world Bank IFC loan rather than submit their Multan operation to closer scrutiny).

So it stands to reason that if the union-busting continues, there will be new openings at Saeed Awan. If the model succeeds, it will be expanded to other Coca-Cola operations.

Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of expansion – so don’t delay!

Tell Coca-Cola what you think of their response to the formation of a union in Multan – apply for a job at Saeed Awan!

There are only three qualifications necessary:

  • a willingness to be ‘flexible’ – no work, no pay
  • a willingness to renounce your rights at the workplace
  • a willingness to see official documents and your employment record falsified – if you ever worked for Coke, once you work for Saeed Awan you never worked for Coke!

Click here to send in your application for work at Saeed Awan – to complete the process, don’t forget to mail in your social security card and other official work documents for the forgery that refreshes!