MANILA, PHILIPPINES – No less than 1,500 workers from the Federation and Cooperation of Cola, Beverage, and Allied Industry Unions (FCCU-SENTRO/IUF) held a synchronized picket protest early this morning in Canlubang, Iligan, Iloilo, and other Coke bottling plants and offices condemning the sudden massive lay-off of 600 workers of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines Inc., (CCFPI), the largest franchised bottler of Coca-Cola products in the Philippines.
According to a statement released by the FCCU-SENTRO/IUF, the retrenchment of these workers came without warning “while leaders of [of the union] were holding a meeting with the management of CCFPI” (habang nakikipag pulungan ang mga lider ng [unyon] sa management ng CCFPI). The union added that the company never informed the union that there will be changes in the business model of CCFPI, which, the company alleges, is the reason for the retrenchment.
Alfredo Maranon, National President of FCCU-SENTRO/IUF, states that the action of the CCFPI management violates the company’s obligations under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines as well as the UN Global Compact of which The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta is a signatory. According to these agreements, he adds, the company must hold talks with the union in order to “process the negative results on workers’ jobs and livelihood” (maagapan ang mga negatibong resulta sa trabaho at kabuhayan ng mga manggagawa).
The FCCU-SENTRO/IUF is set to hold more mobilizations until CCFPI heeds their demand to stop the termination of workers in the company and to sit down in a meeting with the union about the company’s restructuring program.– END