July 15, the Sole Union of Workers of Industria Nacional de
Refrescos SA (SUT-INARSA), of Coca-Cola FEMSA, held a general assembly to inform
its members of the progress made in the past year and the union’s financial
situation. It also elected the governing committee for a new term.
More than 300 of the
439 members of the union gathered under large awnings set up in front of the
SUT-INARSA offices, at the Coca-Cola FEMSA central plant in Managua,
and listened attentively to a report by Noé Morales, secretary of work
Among the work gains
achieved over the last twelve months, Morales highlighted that 12 workers
from the sales and production areas who had been employed under temporary and
outsourced contracts were hired for an indefinite period, that changes were made
in the work processes in the loading area, and that training activities and
seminars were now held for workers every two months on a range of issues.
In addition, Morales
explained that the union had signed the new collective bargaining agreement,
achieving a 22 percent increase for a total value of almost US$ 2.3 million, as
well as a raise of 7.5 percent in average and of 12 percent for production
workers over 50 years old.
Other gains achieved by
the union include a task restructure in the sales area, the forming of 12
management-worker committees to defend workers from threatened dismissal (10 of
which achieved successful results), a job and salary restructure in the
production area, and the transferring of several workers from production to
The report also
detailed the progress in social issues and health assistance.
“It was hard work, but
we did everything in our power to obtain the most benefits for the workers and
to defend their rights. Now we have to follow up on that effort, and that’s
going to be a challenge for the union’s new governing committee,” Morales
said, expressing the union’s appreciation for the constant support provided by
the United Federation of Food Workers of Nicaragua (FUTATSCON) and the
IUF, both represented at the assembly by Marcial Cabrera.
After the presentation
of the financial report, which was delivered by the union’s secretary of women’s
affairs, Azalia Flores, the general assembly unanimously voted to elect
the outgoing governing committee for a new term.
“We should take pride in being workers and continuing our efforts to strengthen
the union, raise worker morale and defend our jobs. My aim is for young people
to prepare themselves so that in the near future they can take over the union’s
who was reelected
the position of general secretary of
took the opportunity to
remind his fellow unionists that their struggle was a struggle to defend their
labor rights from the company’s attacks, to stop management from taking
decisions that affect workers without first consulting the union, and to
pressure Coca-Cola FEMSA into renewing its production lines and truck
fleet. He also called on workers to carry out their duties.
“We’re going to
pressure until all these demands are met, and we know we can always count on the
support of the Latin American Federation of Coca-Cola Workers (FELATRAC),”