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Urgent!!! Coca-cola Union in Guatemala Threatened ! and More!!!

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Coca-cola Union in Guatemala Threatened Date: 10/8/2002 3:14:31 PM Pacific Daylight Time From:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 2002
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      Coca-cola Union in Guatemala Threatened
      Date: 10/8/2002 3:14:31 PM Pacific Daylight Time
      From: list-owner@...

      ONE SUGGESTION: DON'T DRINK COCA-COLA!

      Labor Alerts (12,000 subscribers)
      a service of Campaign for Labor Rights
      202-544-9355
      www.campaignforlaborrights.org
      <><><><><>
      Posted October 8, 2002

      In this Alert:
      1. Coca-cola Union in Guatemala Threatened
      2. Fighting to Keep Their Rights
      3. PANAMCO, Coke in Colombia
      4. Take Action Now!

      [Information in this Alert provided by US/LEAP,
      www.usleap.org]

      <><><><><>

      COCA-COLA UNION IN GUATEMALA THREATENED

      The historic Coca-Cola union in Guatemala, STECSA, is
      deadlocked in negotiations over demands that would erode
      the conditions currently protected by the existing
      collective agreement. Eight union leaders are facing
      firings, which is in violation of the current contract.
      The company, PANAMCO, an anchor bottler of Coca-Cola, is
      also threatening the union?s legal right to strike and
      Coca-Cola is threatening to sue the union.

      STECSA emerged from a violent struggle in the 1980?s,
      which included surviving systematic extermination of its
      elected leadership. The struggle received support from
      human rights and worker rights supporters across the
      United States and Europe and succeeded in forcing
      Coca-Cola to take responsibility for respect for worker
      rights in the Embotelladora Central plant, which led to
      the successful formation of the union and the settling of
      a collective bargaining agreement. STECSA and the
      international fight supporting it became an inspiration
      and model for international solidarity.

      <><><><><>

      FIGHTING TO KEEP THEIR RIGHTS

      The union and PANAMCO have been in negotiations for a new
      contract since February 2001. The union has battled
      proposals by the company that would substantially reduce
      the rights and benefits previously won by the union.
      Throughout the negotiations, the workers have suffered
      intimidation tactics including illegal reductions of
      salary, wage suspensions, and neglect of machinery
      maintenance that creates an unsafe working environment.

      PANAMCO, a bottling company that bottles exclusively for
      Coca-Cola in plants across Central America, Venezuela, and
      Mexico, took over the ownership of the Embotelladora
      Central plant in 1998 and the union has had problems with
      the company ever since. Coca-Cola owns about a fourth of
      PANAMCO?s stock and controls the beverage formula and
      label.

      Recently, the negotiations have become deadlocked over
      core contract demands, including the right to grievance
      procedures. In an intimidation tactic, the company has
      initiated legal proceedings that would allow the firings
      of eight union leaders claiming these workers have been
      absent from work. The current contract provides time off
      of work for these leaders to do union business, which is
      the reason for their absences. When the union declared it
      would strike over the firing of these leaders, PANAMCO
      filed a court action asking that STECSA be denied the
      right to conduct a legal strike, alleging that the
      workers' vote authorizing strike action should have
      included confidential and management employees. This is a
      blatant attempt to interfere with the union?s legal right
      to strike.

      In another intimidation tactic, on September 19, 2002, the
      Coca-Cola company?s lawyers threatened to sue STECSA for
      using the Coke decal in a sticker produced by the union
      that advocates for the right to strike. The company is
      citing violation of intellectual property rights. The
      sticker reads, ?Yes to the Strike! --- Coca-Cola union ---
      Yes to the Strike!? The company insists that the union
      immediately stop using the sticker with the Coca-Cola
      decal or face litigation.

      STECSA and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF),
      the secretariat to which the union is affiliated, are
      calling for international support for this historic union.
      Sample letters can be found on the IUF website at
      www.iuf.org.

      <><><><><>

      PANAMCO, Coke in Colombia

      Guatemala isn?t the only place where workers are facing
      anti-union repression by Coca-Cola and PANAMCO.
      SINALTRAINAL, the Coca-Cola union in Colombia, is suing
      PANAMCO and Coca-Cola alleging that local management has
      used paramilitaries to crush Coca-Cola unions with
      threats, kidnappings, and murder. The suit has been filed
      in the U.S. by the International Labor Rights Fund and the
      United Steelworkers of America. The IUF and the Teamsters
      have called on Coca-Cola to negotiate and sign a global
      worker rights agreement that would cover all of
      Coca-Cola?s operations, including bottlers.

      <><><><><>

      TAKE ACTION NOW!

      ~ Contact Coca-Cola: Remind Coca-Cola of the international
      fight for STECSA and worker rights in the 1980?s. Notify
      the company of your knowledge of the threats to the basic
      rights of the historic STECSA union. Urge Coca-Cola to
      take responsibility for the conduct of its bottlers and
      intervene effectively with PANAMCO to respect worker
      rights. Also urge the company to take every step possible
      to ensure that no further violence occurs against Coke
      workers in Colombia. Ask Coke to take a global stand for
      respect for worker rights by negotiating a global worker
      rights agreement wit the IUF and its unions.

      Contact: Mr. Douglas Daft, Chief Executive Officer, The
      Coca-Cola Company, One Coca-Cola Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30313.
      Tel: 404-676-2121; Fax: 404-515-7099.

      ~ Contact Panamco in Guatemala: Contact the company to
      express your concern over the treatment of the STECSA
      union and demand the company 1) withdraw the dismissal
      cases against the eight local union representatives 2)
      show a willingness to reach a fair settlement in the
      negotiations with STECSA which fully respects the rights
      achieved by the union through previous collective
      bargaining processes (often conducted in extremely
      difficult and dangerous circumstances); and 3) stop
      interfering with the workers' constitutional right to
      democratically decide on whether or not to take strike
      action if required.

      Contact: Mr. Carlos EduardoTrigueros, Panamco Beverage
      Inc. Fax: 011-502 442 0966; E-mail: panamco@...

      <><><><><>
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