With Francisco Barillas

The collective bargaining

slowly moves forward


After almost two months of stagnation, last 4 May the bargaining of the new Collective bargaining agreement between the Union of Central Bottler Workers (according to its abbreviation in Spanish, STECSA) and Coca Cola FEMSA started once again.

 To take stock of the situation, Sirel has had a conversation with Francisco Barillas, STECSA Secretary General.  



-How is the collective bargaing going ?

-The process remained at a standstill for almost two months because of the dilatory attitude of the company and the Deputy Minister of Labour, Carlos Eduardo Machado. Things started to change from the moment in which the head of this Department, Mario Illescas, returned after an absence due to health issues.


The Deputy Minister gave a boost to the bargaining in a direct way. From 4 May on we have started to meet at the company, with the presence of two employees of the Minister of Labour with the role of ‘amiable mediators’.


-What results have been achieved until now?

-It has been a very intense negotiation with very tense moments. FEMSA has been willing to impose its criteria, carrying out actions that tend to undermine the labour and union conquests achieved after so many years of struggle.


Out of 85 articles of the new collective bargaining agreement, 29 have been signed, but these are not related to the most transcendental issues for workers. 


-Which are these issues?

-FEMSA intends to change the content of the articles that regulate staff hiring and the entry preference of new workers. They do not want the Union to participate in these decisions.


Moreover, they intend to postpone the discussion of the articles that have an economic impact, at least until the Union does not approve the investment project the enterprise is boosting.


-What is it about?

-It is a project that affects directly the wages of the workers of the following departments: Commercialization, Sales and Production. There will be a reduction of 50 percent of wages, jobs, routes, thus, staff.


Our proposal is unchangeable: the articles that regulate these issues must not be changed and we propose a wage increase that will be the result of the same bargaining.


-How do you evaluate the attitude of the company in the bargaining?

-It is implementing dilatory tactics to tire us and oblige us to give up, though it is not achieving it.


We are not in a hurry, because our aim is to take ahead a bargaining that allows us to sign a collective bargaining of great benefit for everyone.

In this sense, for STECSA all the articles are important and we are not going to give any of them up.



-What is the importance for STECSA, of the presence of a mission of UITA in Guatemala these days?

-It is a very important signal that helps us become stronger and reinforce our struggle.


UITA has always been close to STECSA and that is something known to the company. Its presence means that we are not alone and it represents an additional force in this context of collective bargaining.

En Guatemala City, Giorgio Trucchi


June 27, 2011





Photo: Giorgio Trucchi


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