At least 300 Coca-Cola workers belonging to the Alliance of Coca-Cola Unions in the Philippines (ACCUP) and their allies swooped down on the transnational corporation’s headquarters in Makati to denounce the ongoing destruction of union jobs in in the company.
This comes at a time when Coca-Cola Philippines is up for sale by The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). Right now Coca-Cola FEMSA from Mexico is conducting due diligence on the company’s assets.
“The company’s attrition program – its systematic effort to replace regular jobs with contractual employees – is causing massive demoralization among the workers,” Fred Marañon, spokesperson of ACCUP and president of Coca-Cola San Fernando Rank and File Union, said.
The protesting workers unfurled banners reminding FEMSA to, “Beware: Aren’t you buying a hornet’s nest?”
“FEMSA should open its eyes to what is really happening,” warned Marañon. “They should be aware of the rolling pickets and mass actions in several plants around the country and of the growing consumer protest against the company’s crude policies”, Marañon added.
The workers also called on FEMSA to respect workers’ rights.
Marañon explained that Coca-Cola’s attrition program includes promoting early retirement, aggressive outsourcing of regular jobs, and the P3 or Performance, Participation and Presence.
P3 removes the fairness and equity in wages and wage increases, workers’ protection against arbitrary and unfair punishment or dismissal as well as protection against discrimination. More important, it precludes the use of grievance procedures in questioning the penalties that are imposed to those who ‘fails’ the performance appraisals. It consigns thousands of workers and their families who depend on decent wages from regular, unionized jobs to a bleak future.
“It is sad to see that after a hundred years, Coca-Cola is once again sliding back to being anti-worker and anti-union,” Marañon. Just four months ago, Coca-Cola marked its centennial anniversary.
The ACCUP vowed to continue their actions until Coca-Cola scraps its anti-workers policies like the P3. ACCUP’s campaign is fully supported by the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and other unions and organizations belonging to Sentro.