Poland : Coca-Cola workers organise
IUF affiliate Solidarnosc has successfully run an organising initiative among the workers in Coca-Cola Radzymin near Warsaw, Poland. More than 100 workers out of a workforce of close to 300 joined the new union local, more than doubling the number of union members in the country, where previously smaller locals existed only in the factory in Lodz and a distribution center in Gdynia.
The union organization has now registered with the Solidarnosc Mazowsze region. “A number of challenges are ahead of us”, says Marcin Demolin, the chairman of the new local. “We have problems with low salaries, frequent changes of work schedules, and unclear criteria of work evaluation. Without a union in the factory these problems could not be solved.”
During the campaign, the Solidarnosc Food Secretariat had received numerous support letters from Coca-Cola trade unions in other countries, for example from Spain, Croatia, Russia, Germany, the US, Japan, Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala.
The successful organising initiative was a result of close cooperation between the Solidarnosc Organising and Food Departments, Solidarnosc regional organisations, the existing locals, and the IUF.
“Where people are determined and firm in their actions, the union can rise and defend itself” commented Solidarnosc chairman Piotr Duda. “I am deeply convinced about this”.
IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald said: “This is a very encouraging result of a targeted organizing initiative which was based on Solidarnosc’s experience and strongly supported by the IUF. Letters from affiliates all over the world have served to encourage workers in Radzymin. Through the IUF Coca-Cola Workers Alliance they will continue to support the new local as well as new organizing initiatives in Poland and elsewhere