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Coke workers slam attacks on rights in CBA nego

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In a press conference in Quezon City, presidents of workers’ unions in Coca-Cola Philippines decried today the multinational giant’s attacks on workers’ rights in ongoing negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement, saying the company is not “spreading happiness” among workers.

Contrary to standard practice in CBA negotiations, Coca-Cola Philippines has refused to present a counter-offer to workers’ proposals for an across-the-board wage hike in CBA negotiations with 45 unions in its company.

Comprehensive attack

Instead, it is forcing unions to accept its 3P scheme, in which workers will be granted individual wage hikes based on presence, performance, and participation. Workers will be subjected to a performance evaluation every two months, and those who will fail can be laid off from work.

“The 3P scheme is a comprehensive attack on our rights. With one stone, Coca-Cola Philippines plans to hit three birds: workers’ wage security, job security, and union security,” said Alfredo Marañon, president of the San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank and File Union (SACORU) based in San Fernando, Pampanga.

“Coke Philippines is not spreading happiness among us workers with its scheme to press down wages, reduce and contractualize its workforce, and bust our unions. If we sign this CBA, this may be our unions’ last CBAs,” said Faustino Aguillon, Jr, president of the United Coca-Cola Workers’ Union (UCCWU) based in Imus, Cavite.

The union presidents disclosed that Coca-Cola Philippines is auditing its workforce, defining “core” and “non-core” functions, which they say is a prelude to retrenchments, outsourcing, and contractualization.

Everyone’s fight

The union leaders called on workers and the poor to support them in opposing Coke’s scheme, saying the company is setting a bad precedent for other companies to emulate.

“Coke wants to appear thankful to Filipinos for its 100 years in the country. But it is setting a bad precedent for other companies to follow – which will adversely affect all workers and poor people,” Marañon said.

“That is why our struggle, we believe, is also a struggle of everyone, of all workers and poor people. Coke is attacking our rights right now but the 3P scheme, if unopposed, may end up victimizing everyone,” Aguillon said.

Appeal to netizens

For his part, Yolito Fadriquelan, president of the Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa, a federation of the Kilusang Mayo Uno of which UCCWU is an affiliate, called on the public to show support through various means.

“Presidents of Coke unions have made a video that is being circulated in the Internet and we call on everyone to share it. People can also write to The Coca-Cola Company via email or snail mail,” Fadriquelan said, referring to the video in this link: vimeo.com/38495022

“Image is very important for a company like Coca-Cola. It is important for people to show that they know how Coke is treating its workers and that they are supportive of the workers of Coke,” he added.

Reference:
Alfredo Marañon, president, San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank and File Union (SACORU), 0928-7282565
Faustino Aguillon, Jr, president, United Coca-Cola Workers’ Union (UCCWU), 0947-1957004
Yolito Fadriquelan, president, Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa (IBM-KMU), 0908-3448126

Reference Person: 
Yolito Fadriquelan, president, Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa (IBM-KMU)
Contact information: 
0908-3448126

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