SABMiller Workers’ Strategy Workshop



Bogotá Statement

The participating organizations declare:


1.   SABMiller, like all other transnational corporations, sees workers as objects of use and not individual subjects of the law.


2.   SABMiller, in order to gain or maintain markets and maximize their profit, violates the rights of workers by implementing extreme schemes of labor flexibilization and outsourcing, replacing, in a great many cases, permanent employment contracts with temporary ones.


3.   SABMiller does not only produce beer and bottle soft drinks and water, it also produces workers who are injured by the repetitive stress and strain caused by long workdays that exceed what is legally permissible.


4.   SABMiller resorts to any means to destroy trade unions wherever they are organized, using among other mechanisms the ill-named “Codes of Ethics,” which turn the workers’ lives both inside and outside the company into a “state of siege”; it also employs lies, fear and false cooperatives -such as the so-called “associated work cooperatives”- as means for outsourcing work.


5.   As a general policy, in many of its plants in Latin America, it prevents free unionization and collective contracting.


6.   In Honduras, the previous owner of Cervecería Hondureña, the transnational corporation DOLE, tried to sell the company to SABMiller without the trade union, but it failed. After SABMiller had acquired 97 percent of DOLE’s stock, a collective bargaining agreement was executed with the Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers (STIBYS), which SABMiller is not honoring. With the aim of destroying the union, in the last few years it has replaced 70 percent of the workforce, investing several million dollars to obtain “voluntary resignations.” The new workers, however, are now part of STIBYS.


7.   In Honduras, STIBYS has been negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement for the last six months under an atmosphere of absolute intransigence on the part of SABMiller, who refuses not only to improve living and working conditions, but also to put a stop to the violations of the collective agreement that the company has been systematically breaching.

It now demands that the collective agreement be adjusted to world class manufacturing indexes, and is trying to cut down truck crews from three to two workers. There are suits filed by workers that have been unjustly fired over the last three years and who the company has refused to see. A s a result of a victory obtained in court, the company was ordered to reinstate nine workers, two of which are members of STIBYS’ board, and for the past seven months the company has been refusing to reinstate them, ignoring the court judgment.


8.   The US union that represents beer industry workers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who has members from SABMiller in the United States and who last year fought a very hard battle -both nationally and internationally- to defend the rights established in the collective agreement, expresses its concern over the antiunion policies of SABMiller in Latin America, and offers its solidarity to demand that the company respect the labor rights of its workers around the world. SABMiller must respect the right to free unionization of those who produce, market and transport its products.




                                                                         José Lutzenberger




 23 de enero de 2007 —  Bogotá, Colombia






  UITA - Secretaría Regional Latinoamericana - Montevideo - Uruguay

Wilson Ferreira Aldunate 1229 / 201 - Tel. (598 2) 900 7473 -  902 1048 -  Fax 903 0905