National Union of Workers of Industria
Nacional de Refrescos SA (SUT - INARSA), Coca Cola FEMSA, a member of the IUF,
reached an important outcome with the signature of a new Collective Agreement,
ensuring job security and substantial progress in economic terms for the next
“There were two weeks of direct negotiation with management and the results are
satisfactory within the framework of our struggle to ensure economic, social and
labor benefits for workers", the general secretary of SUT-INARSA, Daniel
Reyes, told Sirel.
According to SUT-INARSA leader,
one of the main achievements is the re-confirmation of 72 clauses of the old
Agreement and a negotiated revision of the economic clauses.
“We reached an average 23 percent annual wage increase, guaranteeing all the
benefits included in the Agreement and some important improvements. We also
reached a 7 percent wage increase for all departments.
The total amount of the Agreement went from 23 million córdobas, national
currency (1.06 million US dollars) to 40 million (1,8 million US dollars) for
the effective period of two years”, explained Reyes.
Another achievement of this negotiation was that we got to keep the clauses on
job security and permanent union leave.
“Maintaining clause 14, which refers to a bipartite conflict solving mechanism,
and clause 19, which covers recognition of SUT-INARSA as
the sole and exclusive legitimate representative of workers, has been essential
for our work.
We may have not reached all our expectations –he said –,
but all in all we are very satisfied. We will continue our struggle for job
security, so that the company continues respecting the Union and the right of
workers to defend their wins, which are contemplated in our Collective
Agreement”, he asserted.
Agreement on working hours at
the sales department
clause 14, which refers to a bipartite conflict solving mechanism, and clause
19, which covers union recognition of SUT-INARSA as the sole and exclusive
legitimate representative of workers, has been essential for our work.
Thanks to the support of the United
Federation of Food Workers of Nicaragua(FUTATSCON) and the National
Workers' Front (FNT), SUT-INARSA also
reached an agreement with the Ministry of Labor (MITRAB), on the working
hours at the sales department.
“The MITRAB intended
to regulate the working hours of the sales staff, and require 8 hours, as
established by the Labor Code. In this sense, the internal agreement reached
with the company to extend such hours was not being taken into account”,
In an area where the entire salary exclusively depends on sales, such measure by
the MITRAB would
have not only affected the workers' income but also it would have weakened the
“In order to maintain the sales volume, Coca
Cola FEMSA was going to outsource
routes which would have weakened our union. Thanks to the support of
FNT and FUTATSCON we
managed to reach an agreement.
Now, the working hours of the sales department negotiated with the company has
been included in the Agreement and it was acknowledged and signed by the MITRAB,
The significance of a
regional union strategy
The evening before the 3rd Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Latin
American Federation of Coca Cola Workers (FELATRAC), Daniel
Reyes also expressed the
importance of this effort promoted by Rel-UITA.
“Now, more than ever, it is essential to keep enhancing unity in the sector and
unity of regional struggles. In the same way transnational corporations get
together and become global, we also need to be united to defend the rights of
workers at the regional level", he concluded.
13 August, 2010
Photos: Giorgio Trucchi