Coca Cola Workers

Favorable negotiations in progress


A few months from the 100th anniversary of Corporación José R Lindley in Peru, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Embotelladora Latinoamericana (SINATREL), Peruvian Coca Cola workers' union, has reached very positive covenants through direct negotiations, even though the Collective Bargaining Agreement is still to be signed and its effective term to be determined. 


Julio Falla, Secretary General of SINATREL and President of the Food and Beverage Sector of the General Workers’ Confederation of Peru (CGTPABA), told Sirel that a general wage increase of 1.68 dollars a day, i.e. 50.5 dollars per month has been reached, while workers' demand was 1.9 dollars increase per day.


“Also, we obtained an “educational bonus”, for those workers' children who rank first and second in their schools, which will consist of 1,852 dollars a year, which will be included in the family allowance of the corresponding worker.

Another important achievement is the 8 hour workday from Monday to Saturday. Very few unions maintain the 48 hour week. No atypical work hours for Coca Cola workers, he added.


Also, SINATREL will receive 505 dollars per month to cover the rent of the union building. “This is a very good proposal of the company, with an initial lump sum of 10,000 dollars to buy a plot of land for the union, but under the condition of a three-year term agreement, which we are still considering from the technical point of view, to check the convenience for the union”, Falla stated.


Buying a parcel of land to construct the union building is one of the most ambitious projects of SINATREL, but the union is persuaded that this aspiration should not lead the union to make a hasty decision which could be regretted in the future.


“The decision must be taken by a General Meeting. We need to find a balance, perhaps a two year term for the Collective Bargaining Agreement under certain conditions because SINATREL is not used to agreements longer than one year, and explain the pros and the cons for the working class. It is somehow complicated, I think this needs to be progressive”, he explained.

We have obtained an 8 hour shift from Monday through Saturday. Very few unions maintain the 48 hour week.


About the economic crisis, Julio Falla expressed he was sorry that the aprista government were more concerned for helping TNCs with investments in the country than for the situation of Peruvian workers.


“The government should make sure that TNCs re-invest in the country. Within five months the Free Trade Agreement with the US will become effective and not even the issue of agribusiness has been solved, which is the stumbling block for the country economy”, he added.


On Alan García he expressed “he is a demagogue ripping off the Peruvian people once again, he promised the earth when running for president, but he is not delivering on his promises because he has united with economic groups and transnational investors in order to persist in economic and political models that strike the working class.”


Falla added that the food and beverage industry union "is working harder in the defense of labor rights at a time when there is a very limited possibility for union organizing in the country”.

“We as CGTP-ABA hope to become one of the most important forces in the productive sector of the country because we represent an industry which has regrettably been very disarticulated”.

In order to overcome this situation, the types of private sector employment in the food and beverage industry are being identified, hoping to pass a bill in order to change the decrees which are very detrimental for union organizing in Peru.

Companies should contribute more creating decent jobs in the country, instead of overexploiting, and they should understand that the best results with workers are reached at the dialogue table.


Companies should contribute more creating decent jobs in the country, not overexploiting and they should understand that the best results with workers are reached at the dialogue table.


One hundred years in Peru


Next year is the 100th anniversary of Corporación José R. Lindley SA in Peru, and every indication leads to believe that this company hopes for anniversary celebration without conflicts. This is why negotiation is in good terms and with important offers.


In 1910, at the Rímac district, one of the most traditional ones of Metropolitan Lima with its Seville style streets, Corporación José R. Lindley SA (CJRL) began its operations manually at an average rate of one bottle per minute. Later one, innovations were introduced and the beverage sector grew with the changes from the old system to cork, to crown caps present-day bottle caps.


In 1999, when the company used to produce Inca Kola, 51 percent of the shares were bought by the US transnational company Coca Cola, which also bought the brand Inca for production and distribution abroad, while Lindley kept the ownership of the brand within Peru.


From Lima, Julia Vicuña Yacarine


20 July, 2009




Photos: Julia Vicuña Yacarine


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