Peru - Coca Cola

SINATREL is the first union
with the right to parental leave

Good negotiation, better agreement


The National Union of Embotelladora Latinoamericana (SINATREL) and  Corporación José R. Lindley SA subscribed their Collective Agreement for 2009-2011 on 7 August.  For the first time in Peru, a private company gives its workers the right to paid parental leave. Other rights and benefits were also agreed, which is an implicit acknowledgment of the contribution of workers to the success of the major water, juice and carbonated beverage manufacturer and bottler, including Coca Cola.

Percy Díaz Rodríguez

Julio Falla


SINATREL is the first Peruvian union to obtain parental leave, according to clause 8 of the Collective Agreement for 2009-2011, the company commits to “two paid days upon the birth of a worker's child", which will contribute to strengthen the family links of Corporación José R. Lindley SA workers.


This Agreement also establishes a wage increase of 56.3 dollars a month, which will be paid from April 2009 to April 2010.  During the following period 2010-2011, the increase will be 61.4 dollars.  Also, a performance bonus will be implemented, equivalent to 20 percent of the basic salary.  Workers that belong to the collective bargaining unit will receive a monthly family allowance of 18.7 dollars, and an education allowance for those whose children are students aged 3 - 25, among other benefits.


Likewise, the company committed a 15,000 dollar grant "to be used for the purchase of a parcel of land for the union building", for which SINATREL must obtain recognition as a legal entity and take the steps for registration with the Register to receive grants, which is being done by the union leadership.


A long-standing demand


“We managed to sign a good Agreement and we must recognize the good faith of the company to reach an understanding. Somehow, I think the company has tried to acknowledge the workers' effort. This company is virtually the only one in the carbonated beverage market, it is profitable, the average growth of sales this year is 10 percent and I think this has an influence too", stated Percy Díaz Rodríguez, general secretary of SINATREL, in his talk to Sirel.


The parental leave was a “long-standing demand of many workers because for such a significant date as the birth of a child, workers needed to get a leave and then compensate the hours they had missed, which became an additional problem because later it meant less time to be with their families”, he explained.


As an award for the responsibility of SINATREL members, "a puctuality bonus" was added, which was approved in negotiations. “This is a way to promote responsibility among workers and change their mentality; another benefit is for workers’ children who are hard-working students as a way to encourage them and recognize their efforts", he added.   


Also, the work of union leaders who are members of union internal bodies has been recognized in this Collective Agreement and they will have union leave, according to Díaz. “The 350 days of union leave that we have can be used by any union leader, no one has a permanent leave in this Agreement, and so we have managed to extend union leave to reach our working committees which members did not have this benefit”.


“People need time to be a leader and we had problems to create commissions, but now, with some union leaves, our colleagues can take part in working committees, voting committees, and audit committees, as well as the different internal bodies of the Union without the need to use their free time, which is devoted to their families. Next year we will have 100 additional hours, a total of 450 hours to be distributed among all of us", explained Percy Díaz.


Our main strength is unity


When referring to this successful negotiation process, after recognizing the important role played by the bargaining committee on the employer’s side, he expressed that this is based in the strength and unity of the Union. SINATREL has become stronger with time, we have had ups and downs, severance packages, lay offs, but we have stayed together, and this is one of our strengths".


We are contemplating for the coming months to work on union strengthening, organizing and capacity building for members at the national level.  SINATREL has union branches in the departments of Arequipa, Cusco, Ica, Trujillo and Lima.


The general secretary of SINATREL added that the negotiation was successful because the union had the support of fraternal organizations “such as the IUF, which was always present in difficult times and the IUF contribution was essential, so we recognize and value their support and their being with us always".


SINATREL agreement, a milestone


Julio Falla, President of the Food and Beverage Sector of the General Workers’ Confederation of Peru (CGTP–ABA) highlighted the achievements of SINATREL: “This is the best set of claims and will be useful for the following months for union growth, which is thanks to the perseverance and dedication of its leaders”.


SINATREL is nearing its eighth anniversary. A relatively young union with the philosophy that rights obtained and agreed cannot be renounced", he added.  


As the president of the sector he congratulated union leaders and shop stewards who were a part of the National Commission for "this result which is a milestone in Peruvian bargaining".


He also expressed his recognition to the corporate bargaining commission “because authentic dialogue in good faith on both sides led to these results. Congratulations and let’s hope for many more successes for SINATREL Coca Cola”.

Falla stated that his sector supports the unions and this support is possible because "we have the support of several organizations, particularly the IUF. We are continuously coordinating with our sister Patricia Iglesias, who has always been with us in good and bad times of Peruvian unionism.”


From Lima, Julia Vicuña Yacarine


August 20, 2009




Photos: Julia Vicuña Yacarine


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  UITA - Secretaría Regional Latinoamericana - Montevideo - Uruguay

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