With Gustavo Sotelo

The Union has been able to make 74 more workers be permanent


After almost one year of discussions, mediated by the Ministry of Work, the transnational company has been answering to the Union recent demands. In the last 8 months 199 workers have been made permanent, among which 74 took place last week. This process is in line with the policy of the Latin American Federation of Coca Cola Workers’ (FELATRAC) to decrease to the most the number of outsourced workers.


Sirel has dialogued with Gustavo Sotelo, the president of the Coca Cola Union Workers (STCC), to get to know the implications of these achievements and the steps that will be followed.


-How do you feel with regard to this new objective that has been reached?

-We feel truly satisfied for this achievement, though we are completely aware of the fact that we still have a long road ahead of us’.


This is vital to the working stability of these 199 workers, to their families, the Union itself and the Federation of Beverages Workers and Employees (FOEB), because of the important precedent it sets in Uruguay.


We cannot forget that during the economic crisis in 2002-2003 in this country, Coca Cola, like many other enterprises, took advantage of the situation to implement very unfavourable measures for the workers: outsourcing, casualization and seasonal work became a very common situation.


-What are the objectives you are planning to follow in the Union from now on?

-One of the most important issues is to work on the generational change, since a high number of comrades will retire and the organization loses the capacity gained along so many years of militancy and shared struggles.


It is necessary to pass on the knowledge and history of our Union and those of the Uruguayan workers’ movement, the formula not to forget where we come from and the aim of the organization.


Moreover, we will have to continue working to decrease the number of operators in precarious working conditions, like those ones who are outsourced. Trying to recover lost spaces, like the cleaning and security sectors that used to be Coca Cola permanent workers, is one of the main objectives.


Even though those cleaning and security workers are not affiliated to the STCC, the Union supports and represents them as if they were STCC members.


The Management is aware of this and for this reason the Union’s advice is always sought on every occasion in which there are issues to be discussed directly related to workers of those outsourced sectors.


The process to reverse outsourcing is the great defy for the union organization in the short term.




In Montevideo, Laura Madero


June 2, 2011





Photos: Darío Falero


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