Workers of Frito Lay, PepsiCo’s flagship snacks brand, held a picket September 15th in front of the factory in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The union has recently joined the IUF and was supported by other IUF affiliates in the country.
Sirel had a conversation with Alexander Mosquea, General Secretary of the National Union of Frito-Lay Dominicana Workers (SINTRALAYDO), about the reasons for the protest.
SIREL: Which is the reason for this picket?
MOSQUEA: There is a persistent attitude of harassment and aggression from the Human Resources Manager, Xavier Rodríguez, towards unionized workers. Apart from this there is a number of violations to the Collective Agreement which have taken place in the last four months, e.g. salary cuts, nonpayment of severance pay when workers are fired, and others. For these reasons, we are holding this demonstration.
SIREL: Which other measures have been taken?
MOSQUEA:We have made several complaints at the Ministry of Work, which imply the non-compliance of many rights that we have been suffering since last year, but we consider that this phase is over, the workers’ demonstrations is a previous step to court.
Unfortunately, the Ministry has not declared itself about the complaints and even if we have the best intention to negotiate in good faith, it is very difficult not to resort to other measures since Frito-Lay and this Mr. Rodríguez do not understand that they have to respect the right to unionize and the collective agreement.
According to the exact words of the Human Resources Manager, we are ‘good for nothing’. It is really difficult to reach an agreement within such a work context.
In this picket we are demanding, apart from the abovementioned, that the commitments that the company has made to the workers must be observed; we also demand that three comrades, who have recently been fired for unjustified reasons, must be reinstated, but mostly we claim that constant persecution and harassment towards unionized workers ought to stop, that the terror raised by Mr. Rodríguez has to be ceased.
SIREL: Which are the steps forward?
MOSQUEA: For the moment we will continue to be alert and in motion, we count on Rel-UITA’s support to report these outrages of the transnational company, but we are ready to keep fighting if Frito-Lay does not change its attitude.