After almost two months of
stagnation, last 4 May the bargaining of the new Collective
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
-How is the collective bargaing going ?
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.
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?
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
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
-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
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?
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,
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.