The IUF, its affiliates and human rights supporters around the world have repeatedly brought rights violations in Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, the Philippines, and the USA to the attention of The Coca-Cola Company. We continue to demand the company remedies human rights violations within the Coca-Cola System and yet today, these abuses continue in full violation of internationally recognized human rights standards. Details of human rights violations in these five countries are summarized below.
Coke’s bottler La Brasserie de la Couronne continues to systematically deny workers their right to form and be represented by a union, IUF-affiliated SYTBRACOUR. Haiti is a dangerous place to live and to work. Companies should, at a minimum, be alert to this situation and exercise maximum due diligence. In July 2019, a Coca-Cola truck driver was shot in his vehicle while at work. The Coca-Cola Company has conducted no meaningful independent investigation of this killing, choosing instead to rely on a misleading version of events provided by their local bottler, which sought to shift blame onto the driver. Subsequent IUF investigations into this case have exonerated the driver and exposed a callous disregard for the truth on the part of the Coca-Cola bottler and The Coca-Cola Company.
Coca-Cola bottler Amatil pursues its long running attack on the rights of independent, democratic trade unions. Coca-Cola Amatil recently exploited the COVID-19 lock-down to impose a secret collective agreement, undercutting the rights and benefits of 6,000 workers without those workers being able to even obtain a copy of the agreement signed in their name.
The Coca-Cola Company closed two of its directly owned concentrate plants, both of which were strongly unionized, and shifted production to its remaining plant in Ballina, where it refuses to engage in collective bargaining with the IUF-affiliated SIPTU. Coke’s rejection of collective bargaining rights flies in the face of an Irish Labour Court recommendation that SIPTU should be able to “engage with the Company to negotiate the terms and conditions of employment on behalf of its members.” Coke management in Ballina refuses to accept this recommendation and recognize the union’s and its members’ rights to collective bargaining.
Coca-Cola management is capitalizing on the coronavirus emergency to attack union leaders of the IUF-affiliated FCCU-SENTRO and intimidate their members with dismissals, disciplinary procedures and the use of police power. Coke operations in the Philippines are wholly owned by The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, USA. Responsibility for intimidation, dismissals and threats to our affiliate and its members lies squarely with The Coca-Cola Company.
The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Northern New England bottler spent more than $330,000 to hire a union-busting consultancy firm to persuade workers at its Greenfield bottling plant not to join the IUF-affiliated RWDSU/UFCW. This expensive consultancy firm publicly states “We represented management at employee meetings with the objective of persuading subject group of employees at Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England in Greenfield, Massachusetts to remain union-free.”
What is Coca-Cola’s next stop on the human rights violations world tour?
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