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With Carlos Luch

STECSA secures important collective bargaining agreement


Workers successfully protected their hard-won rights


After a long and difficult negotiation that lasted more than 14 months, the Union of Workers of Embotelladora Central SA (STECSA) secured an important new collective bargaining agreement with Coca-Cola FEMSA, guaranteeing protection for rights achieved in the past.


Following the suspension of negotiations last February 21, the parties returned to the negotiating table to seek an agreement on the clauses that were still pending approval.


After three meetings, on March 26, right before the semester meeting between the IUF and the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, STECSA and Coca-Cola FEMSA finally came to a solution and signed a collective bargaining agreement for two periods, covering from March 1, 2011 to February 28, 2013, and March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2015, respectively.


“With the signing of this agreement we succeeded in ratifying the gains we had in our previous collective bargaining agreement, but above all we achieved our chief goal, which was to defend the rights earned over many years of struggle,” STECSA general secretary Carlos Luch told Sirel.


The union leader explained that with the signing of the new agreement the workers successfully rejected the company’s plan to implement a presales and dynamic routing model. According to Luch, this model has not only proven ineffective in Guatemala, it would have jeopardized the very survival of the union.


“We have been mobilizing non-stop to defend our constitutional right to collective bargaining, and all the protests we held were coordinated nationally and internationally with the Trade Union Federation of Food, Agroindustry and Related Industry Workers of Guatemala (FESTRAS), the Latin American Federation of Coca-Cola Workers (FELATRAC) and Rel-UITA (IUF Latin America), which, through you, published several reports chronicling our actions.


STECSA wishes to express its profound gratitude for the support we received from all of them, because this ongoing contact with sister organizations and their unconditional support gave us great strength and was instrumental in the achievement of our goal,” Luch said.


In terms of wages, the parties agreed on 5 to 6 percent raises applied as of March 1, 2011 (retroactive), and until February 28, 2015.


“Although the salary adjustment is less than we expected, we’re satisfied with the overall outcome of the negotiations.”


“Also, with the signing of an agreement for two periods we are guaranteed great stability,” the general secretary of STECSA concluded.





From Managua, Giorgio Trucchi


April 2, 2012





Photos: STECSA


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