Published: 15/11/2011

As new details emerge about the process of transfer of PepsiCo bottling operations in China to Tingyi, workers there found out about the devil in this detail. And that devil is evil enough to make workers take very courageous steps of protest. According to recent press reports, workers in three locations protested against the company’s plan in what obviously is a coordinated action in a country that denies basic union rights – that is the right to independent unions –  to its citizens.

The reason is simple: In the course of the transfer, PepsiCo intends to terminate all  employees in its bottling operations – thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, who then have to renegotiate new work contracts with Tingyi. Obviously workers don’t expect their conditions will be improved, and some might find themselves deprived of their workplaces all together.

For PepsiCo, a company that consistently shows anti-union behaviour and disrespect for its worksforce (read about their sick version of “Big Brother” in Brazil), that plan, in fact a giant outsourcing operation, obviously looks like a appropriate way out of any responsibility for their workforce. However workers, even under the circumstances of denial of union rights in China, understand very clearly whose to be made responsible for this attack on their jobs and livelihoods – PepsiCo, the company whose brands they still will be expected to produce, sell and distribute.