With Gustavo Sotelo

Coca-Cola Workers Union

in a pre-conflict situation

Amid some misunderstandings between this TNC and the union, which have been affecting the internal relations at the plant, last Monday Coca Cola once again failed to honor the Collective Agreement. Sirel discussed this situation with Gustavo Sotelo, president of the Union of Coca Cola Workers of Uruguay (STCC).


-What is the situation now?

-Last Friday 16, the company informed that two seasonal workers of the Distribution Area would become unemployed and the application process for the unemployment benefit would begin


Then, the Union informed Coca Cola, its disagreement with this job cutting because on 28th May  STCC signed with the company a document to extend the season to cover the months of June and July.


The company replied that the issue would not be revisited because the decision had already been taken.  That is why every shift held a meeting and a one-day nation-wide strike was called for Monday 19.


-What was the support for the strike?

-100 percent of workers went on strike at the bottling plant of Montevideo, and also at warehouses and  distribution centers in other parts of the country.


A 12-item set of demands emerged out of this industrial action, including: the declaration of a pre-conflict status of STCC ; calling the company Montevideo Refrescos to the Ministry of Labor due to the breach of the Collective Agreement; complying with 8-hour-shifts, not working overtime and call of an extraordinary Congress, which was held last Tuesday 20.


-What happened at the Congress?

-A workers' decision was passed to remain in permanent session, which means that, within the production areas, breaks are unified and it represents a half-hour strike.


Also, due to the serious situation, there was a decision to call the meeting at the Ministry, which was held yesterday.


-Was there any agreement reached there?

-The Ministry made a proposal for an agreement to be reached:  first the reinstatement of the terminated workers for a 15-day period until the end of the season.


Second, a tripartite negotiation table and that no industrial action be taken by the Union, and that the company should not decide any termination or lay-off while this 30-day negotiation table is in session. Finally, that workers go back to their regular work at the plant.


It is worth adding that management accepted the Ministry's proposal and yesterday the general meeting of the union also agreed.



In Montevideo, Amalia Antúnez


July 22, 2010





Fotos: Patricia Iglesias


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  UITA - Secretaría Regional Latinoamericana - Montevideo - Uruguay

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